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Weekly Baseball Preview
by Matt Fargo - 05/04/2008
Monday, May 5th
Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers 7:05 PM ET
Boston took two of three against the Tigers in the first series meeting this year but this is not the same Detroit team. The Tigers are 13-8 since then and they are slowly climbing back into the American League Central. While Boston started the season on fire, there has been some problems of late as it is 4-6 over its last 10 games heading into Sunday. The Red Sox are 13-5 at home but just 6-8 on the road and Daisuke Matsuzaka will be making his first road start since April 1st after tossing four straight at Fenway Park.
Tuesday, May 6th
Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds 7:10 PM ET
One of the best pitching matchups of the week takes place Tuesday with Carlos Zambrano and Aaron Harang squaring off. Zambrano has a 2.11 ERA on the season and has tossed six quality outings in his seven starts on the year. He has 11 wins against the Reds which is tied for the most victories against any team. Harang meanwhile is 1-4 but he has a solid 2.98 ERA through seven starts. Like Zambrano, he is 6-7 in quality starts but poor run production has done him in as the Reds average just 3.1 rpg in his outings.
Wednesday, May 7th
Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals 8:10 PM ET
The series between the Angels and Royals wraps up with a pitching matchup that has shown complete opposite numbers of what we thought coming into the season. Zack Greinke is having a spectacular season after missing most of 2006 and pitching out of the bullpen most of last year. He is 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA and 1.02 WHIP through six starts. Jered Weaver meanwhile is struggling with a 4.36 ERA on the season as only two of his last five starts have been quality. However, he has a 1.93 career ERA against the Royals.
Thursday, May 8th
Philadelphia Phillies at Arizona Diamondbacks 3:40 PM ET
Brandon Webb won the Cy Young in 2006 and is making a strong case early on in 2008. He is a perfect 7-0 while posting a 2.49 ERA while opposing hitters are batting just .197 against him. His lone non-quality outing came last time out against the Mets but the offense more than made up for it again. Arizona is scoring 5.7 rpg for him and he goes up against a Phillies team that he has defeated only twice in eight starts. His 3.99 ERA against them is second highest of any team he has started at least two games against.
Friday, May 9th
New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers 7:05 PM ET
The Yankees will have some payback on their minds as they look to avenge the three-game sweep the Tigers gave them at Yankee Stadium. It marked the sixth loss in eight games for New York but it responded well with a series sweep over the Mariners this past weekend. As mentioned, the Tigers are a different team now and playing the Yankees at home has been a success as they won five of the seven meetings there last season and have taken eight of the last 10 in Detroit dating back to 2006.
Saturday, May 10th
Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Devil Rays 7:10 PM ET
A new name is emerging in the A.L. Cy Young talk and that is Ervin Santana. He is 5-0 with a 2.48 ERA heading into this week with all six of his starts being quality outings. The amazing part is that three of those were away from home and it looks like he has exercised those road demons. He had road ERAâ€™s of 8.38 and 5.95 in the two previous years while his ERA in Tampa is 8.22 over four starts. Scott Kazmir is slated to go in his second start of the season for the Rays and will face the Angels for just the third time.