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Max Scherzer has grown into a No. 1A starter on the Tigers next to reigning Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, and Scherzer takes the mound Friday night in a huge series at LA with wild-card implications. Bet on Tigers-Angels at WagerWeb.com.
NY Yankees at Baltimore – Yankees RHP Phil Hughes (13-12, 4.18) vs. Orioles LHP Wei-Yin Chen (12-8, 3.79): The Orioles defeated Hughes in his last start, hitting him for five runs and eight hits — including two homers — over five innings in an 8-3 loss. It was the first time in four starts Hughes did not complete seven innings. … Chen will be pitching on an extra day of rest to make room for the return of Jason Hammel. Chen is coming off his first loss in four starts after giving up four runs, three earned, over 6 2/3 innings against the Yankees last Saturday.
Texas at Tampa Bay – Rangers LHP Derek Holland (10-6, 4.79) vs. Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson (8-10, 3.41): Holland is 3-0 with a 3.60 ERA in his past three games after holding the Indians to two runs in seven innings on Sunday. He is 5-2 with a 4.10 ERA in 10 starts on the road. He is 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA in two starts against the Rays this year. … Hellickson notched his 16th quality start of the season Friday in Toronto, but came away with his 10th loss of the season after holding the Blue Jays to two runs in six innings. He is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in one career start against Texas.
Toronto at Boston – Jays RHP Henderson Alvarez (7-12, 5.04) vs. Red Sox LHP Felix Doubront (10-7, 5.03): Alvarez did not make it to the sixth inning for the fifth time in his past six starts in his last outing, a loss. The 22-year-old has a 6.56 ERA since the All-Star break, and hasn’t won since July 28. … Doubront took a loss Saturday after allowing five runs on six hits and two walks with six strikeouts in three innings at Oakland. He is 1-1 in three starts against the Blue Jays this season.
Cleveland at Minnesota – Indians RHP Jeanmar Gomez (5-7, 5.08) vs. Twins RHP Liam Hendriks (0-7, 6.11): The 24-year-old Gomez made his first start for the Tribe since June 23 against the Rangers on Saturday, providing 5 2/3 innings and allowing three runs on four hits to earn the win. … Hendricks wasn’t able to build off his Aug. 27 complete-game gem in his last start against the Royals, getting tagged for five runs (three earned) on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. He took a no-decision against Cleveland in his 2011 finale.
Kansas City at Chicago White Sox – Royals RHP Luis Mendoza (7-9, 4.48) vs. White Sox LHP Francisco Liriano (5-11, 5.11): Mendoza took a no-decision his last time out, exiting after five innings against the Twins. He only allowed two runs but allowed seven hits, including a home run. He’s 2-2 in four games against Chicago this season, with a 2.96 ERA. … It was a walk on the wild side for Liriano, who issued six unintentional walks and threw 100 pitches over four-plus innings Saturday night. Liriano allowed three runs, while striking out five.
Detroit at LA Angels – Tigers RHP Max Scherzer (15-6, 3.93) vs. Angels RHP Ervin Santana (8-11, 5.32): Scherzer held the White Sox to one run in eight innings Saturday night and will ride a five-game win streak into Los Angeles. He hasn’t allowed more than two runs since Aug. 5, and he also has nine straight games with at least eight strikeouts. … Santana allowed two runs over seven innings and was the winning pitcher Saturday against the Mariners. This would be the spot for top AL Cy Young candidate Jered Weaver but he is expected to miss one start after taking a line drive on the arm.
Oakland at Seattle – A’s RHP A.J. Griffin (4-0, 2.26) vs. Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez (13-6, 2.51): Griffin pitched a three-hitter over seven innings in his previous start, his first since returning from the disabled list with a strained right shoulder. The rookie has been pitching well all year and has a 1.50 ERA in three road games. … The Mariners ace Hernandez suffered his first defeat since June 12 in a 5-2 loss to the Angels on Saturday but is still 9-1 with a 1.62 ERA over his last 15 starts. He’s 13-5 with a 2.63 ERA in 25 career outings against the A’s.