The Detroit Tigers get to throw Justin Verlander, which gives them a neat little head start. But Verlander can't win without support, so the Tigers are going with a starting lineup Friday night to supplement Verlander's arm. I have to say, I think it's a pretty solid strategy on Jim Leyland's part. The nine guys he'll send up against CC Sabathia, via @OFFICIAL_TIGERS, which is a very emphatic Twitter account:
That's a better 4-through-6 than you might think, as Cabrera, Martinez and Avila posted OPS+ figures of 181, 132, and 143, respectively. It's a much weaker 1-through-3, but then all three top guys are righties, so they'll have the platoon advantage against the lefty Sabathia. And for whatever it's worth, Young performed much better following a mid-season trade from the Twins. Not to suggest that we can just throw out his numbers from Minnesota, but he's lifted his game.
Wilson Betemit will be available off the bench should Leyland come to realize that Brandon Inge is bad. It's also worth noting that Martinez is playing through a bruised toe, through the nail of which Tigers trainers had to drill a hole the other day to relieve pressure. So, yeah, sit back and think about that a little.