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Reply To: MLB Previews, Articles, Info, etc, Saturday 10/3/15

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Preview: Tigers at White Sox

Current Conditions – Chicago
SUNNY 77 °F
Wind: NNW 12
5-Day Forecast GAME: Detroit Tigers (73-86) at Chicago White Sox (75-85)
DATE/TIME: Saturday, October 03 – 7:10 PM EST
WHERE: U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A

The Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers are just playing out the string at this point, but that doesn’t mean each team is laying down over the final weekend. The Tigers will try to even the series and give themselves a chance of finishing outside the American League Central basement when they visit the White Sox on Saturday.

The biggest goal for both clubs is avoiding the cellar, and Chicago (75-85) grabbed a 2-1 victory behind Chris Sale in Friday’s series opener to pull 1 1/2 games ahead of Detroit (73-86). The Tigers are already ensured of their first losing season since 2008 and are looking to make a quick turnaround in 2016 behind resurgent ace Justin Verlander. The former Cy Young and MVP Award winner is finishing up the season strong and is aiming to go out with a third straight win when he takes the mound on Saturday. Consistency at the top of the rotation was an issue all season for the White Sox as well, and Erik Johnson is attempting to show that he can be part of the solution heading into the offseason.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, WGN (Chicago)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Justin Verlander (5-8, 3.39 ERA) vs. White Sox RH Erik Johnson (3-1, 3.45)

Verlander got off to a rocky start in 2015 after injury kept him off the mound until mid-June, but he has yielded three or fewer earned runs in nine of his last 10 starts to make it a solid campaign overall. He struck out five and allowed one run in six innings at Texas on Monday to pick up his second straight win. Verlander fanned eight over seven innings at Chicago on Sept. 23 while scattering three runs and five hits to improve to 18-13 with a 3.97 ERA against the White Sox.

Johnson struggled in a chance to establish himself as a major leaguer in 2014 but is getting another chance down the stretch in 2015 and is taking advantage. The 25-year-old allowed three or fewer runs in each of his five starts this month but has issued 26 walks in 28 2/3 innings, preventing him from going deep into games. Johnson struck out nine and walked two over six innings at Detroit on Sept. 21 while surrendering two runs to pick up the win.

WALK-OFFS

1. Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera (.334) took Friday off but is expected to play Saturday as he continues his bid to join Ty Cobb, Wade Boggs, Nap Lajoie, Rod Carew, Ted Williams and Harry Heilmann as the only hitters in AL history to win four batting titles.

2. Chicago dismissed bench coach Mark Parent but announced that manager Robin Ventura would return in 2016 on Friday.

3. Detroit LHP Randy Wolf, 39, has not yet decided if he will try to make a return to the majors next season.

PREDICTION: Tigers 4, White Sox 2