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If Rick Porcello beats the Kansas City Royals tonight, the Detroit Tigers are the AL Central champions – the Tigers also would win the division if the White Sox lose to Cleveland. Bet on Tigers-Royals and every game at WagerWeb.com.
Boston at NY Yankees – Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz (11-7, 4.22) vs. Yankees LHP CC Sabathia (14-6, 3.42): Heading into his final start of the season, Buchholz has held opponents to a .258 average. Believe it or not, Buchholz has faced the Yankees just once this season and hasn’t pitched in New York. … Concerns about Sabathia’s velocity were eased after the ace’s back-to-back dominant outings vs. the A’s and Twins, in which he allowed two runs in 16 innings (1.13 ERA) with 21 strikeouts.
Chicago White Sox at Cleveland – White Sox LHP Hector Santiago (3-1, 3.69) vs. Indians RHP Corey Kluber (2-4, 5.02): After 38 relief appearances this season, Santiago makes his fourth start Monday night and his second straight against the Indians. Santiago is trying to lay claim to a spot in the starting rotation for 2013. … Kluber beat Chicago on the road Tuesday by allowing two runs on four hits over seven innings. The righty struck out four and walked three. He is 0-3 with a 5.17 ERA in six home starts.
Minnesota at Toronto – Twins RHP Esmerling Vasquez (0-2, 5.88) vs. Jays LHP Aaron Laffey (4-6, 4.52): Vasquez, making his fifth career start, held the Yankees in check over six strong innings to pick up his first quality start on Tuesday. The right-hander gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out five. … Laffey is pitching on fumes after seeing an increase of more than 100 innings this season. Even though he was only able to throw 82-83 mph during his last start, Laffey still pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings against the Orioles.
Baltimore at Tampa Bay – Orioles LHP Wei-Yin Chen (12-10, 4.11) vs. Rays RHP Alex Cobb (10-9, 4.18): The 26-year-old Chen continued to struggle, taking the loss Monday to the Blue Jays and giving up five earned runs on nine hits and one walk. He also had three strikeouts in the five-inning outing. … Cobb agreed that pulling him after five innings and one run was the right move in his last start. He’s 6-1 dating to Aug. 1. Cobb has faced the White Sox once lifetime, losing to them in April on four runs in five innings.
Detroit at Kansas City – Tigers RHP Rick Porcello (9-12, 4.68) vs. Royals LHP Bruce Chen (11-13, 5.13): Porcello hasn’t gotten out of the sixth inning in his last five starts, and his velocity drop in the middle innings has Jim Leyland and the coaches baffled. Porcello is fine health-wise, and his mechanics don’t appear to be the issue. … Chen had a gritty performance against the Tigers last Tuesday night, giving up 10 hits and two walks but holding them to two runs in 6 2/3 innings. He’d like to get his 12th win to match the total with which he led the team the previous two seasons.
Texas at Oakland – Rangers LHP Martin Perez (1-3, 5.03) vs. A’s RHP Jarrod Parker (12-8, 3.44): Perez was knocked out in the first inning by the A’s on Wednesday when he allowed five runs on six hits. It was his second start since replacing Scott Feldman in the rotation. Perez’s only win came vs. Oakland on June 30. … Parker appeared prime for a short outing when he allowed three runs through the first two innings against the Rangers on Wednesday. He made an impressive recovery, though, never again allowing a runner past second base in his final four frames.
LA Angels at Seattle – Angels LHP C.J. Wilson (12-10, 3.86) vs. Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez (13-8, 2.86): Wilson gave up three runs on five hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings during a no-decision against the Mariners on Wednesday. He now has a 3.18 ERA in 11 1/3 innings against Seattle this season. The Angels are 6-1 in his past seven starts. … The Mariners ace makes his final start of the season, still looking for his first win in September after going 0-3 with a 5.70 ERA in five starts this month. Hernandez took a no-decision against the Angels on Wednesday, giving up 2 runs in 6 innings.