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Tigers @ A's Game 35

Josh Donaldson gets the start at third! As many of you may know, I am a big fan and believer in Donaldson and am excited (though surprised) to see him get the start at third today against Justin Verlander. Donaldson has been on fire in Sacramento where he is hitting .447/.509/.830 with a .545 wOBA and 236 wRC+ in 53 plate appearances. That is most definitely most unsustainable, also it has the natural Sacramento/Pacific Coast League added factor, and he has a .421 BABIP but it is good to see him hitting well. I do like his 1.25 BB/K ratio. The A's of course look to win a four game set against the Tigers and move to three games above .500. The A's are on pace to win 86 games right now - who'd a thunk that at the beginning of the year? I figured at best this was an 83 win team but that everything would need to go right. Lots has gone anything but right and here they are, so that is a pleasant surprise.

Jarrod Parker takes the mound for the A's. He has been stellar in his three starts, going 20 innings with 5.4 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and 0.5 HR/9. That adds up to a lukewarm 3.75 FIP, but to me his 1.80 ERA is more indicative of how he has pitched as he has been fearless on the mound, not looking flustered when men are on base and working himself out of jams. Hopefully he keeps that up against a tough Detroit lineup.

Along with Josh Donaldson, the A's lineup features Eric Sogard starting at second (not-surprising after Jemile Weeks' early departure last night), Anthony Recker behind the dish, and an outfield of Seth Smith, Collin Cowgill and Josh Reddick. This sort of B Team is tasked with defeating Verlander who in typical Verlander fashion is having an amazing year third in the league in WAR (1.8), sporting a 2.62 ERA, 2.35 FIP, 8.4 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and 0.4 HR/9 in his 51 1/3 innings. Here are the lineups c/o of Baseball Press:

1. Austin Jackson (R) CF
2. Andy Dirks (L) LF
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 3B
4. Prince Fielder (L) 1B
5. Delmon Young (R) DH
6. Alex Avila (L) C
7. Brennan Boesch (L) RF
8. Jhonny Peralta (R) SS
9. Ryan Raburn (R) 2B
1. Cliff Pennington (S) SS
2. Collin Cowgill (R) CF
3. Josh Reddick (L) RF
4. Jonny Gomes (R) DH
5. Seth Smith (L) LF
6. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B
7. Daric Barton (L) 1B
8. Anthony Recker (R) C
9. Eric Sogard (L) 2B