The Detroit Tigers (34-35) and Pittsburgh Pirates (36-32) will open up a three-game interleague series on Friday night at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET
Detroit Tigers at Pittsburgh Pirates
Detroit hits the road after going 4-2 on its recent six-game homestand, as it looks to continue its recent success against Pittsburgh. The Tigers won two of three games in a earlier series against the Pirates from May 18-20 at Comerica Park. First baseman Prince Fielder figures to be a major player to watch offensively, slugging 28 home runs against the Pirates in his career, which is his most against any team. Detroit is 10-5 in interleague play, and the “under” is 9-6 in those contests.
Tigers starting pitcher Doug Fister (1-3, 2.68 ERA) earned his first victory of the season last time out, picking up a 4-1 home win over the Colorado Rockies, giving up three hits over six shutout innings. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 3.28 ERA in four road starts, issuing five walks and collecting 16 strikeouts in 24.2 combined frames. Fister will be making his first-ever start against the Pirates.
Pittsburgh has won its last two series and has compiled a 21-12 overall mark at PNC Park during the 2012 campaign. The Pirates have been led by a pitching staff that ranks first in the majors with a 2.33 home ERA, holding opponents to two earned runs or less 22 times. Outfielder Andrew McCutchen is starting to heat up again at the plate, batting .524 over his last five games, while ranking fifth in the National League with a .339 batting average overall. Pittsburgh is 9-6 as a home underdog of +100 to +125.
Pirates starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (7-2, 3.52 ERA) has led the club to eight consecutive wins, including a 9-2 road victory over the Cleveland Indians last time out, surrendering two runs and six hits over 6.2 frames. The right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.27 ERA in six home starts, limiting opposing hitters to a .185 average. In nine career games versus the Tigers, Burnett has compiled a 5-2 record and 5.92 ERA, including a 4-3 win at Comerica Park on May 19.
Bettors will likely back the Pirates due to their 5-0 mark in Burnett’s last five starts as an underdog, while the Tigers are 0-4 in Fister’s last four road efforts.
Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates +100
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