Matchup: Neftali Feliz vs. Justin Verlander

April, 21, 2012
4/21/12
4:30
PM CT
DETROIT -- Well, this should be fun. The 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner takes on a powerful Texas Rangers lineup. A look at today's matchup (game starts at 6:05 p.m. on TXA21 and KSKY 660 AM):

Neftali Feliz (1-0, 2.25 ERA): The 23-year-old converted closer is making his third start of his big league career and will be doing it with an extra day of rest thanks to Monday's off day. ... He started his starting career with 11 scoreless innings before the Twins scored three runs off him Sunday. ... Opponents are hitting just .209 (9-for-43) in his two starts with two extra-base hits. ... He's 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA in eight career games against Detroit. That includes 3-for-4 on save chances. ... He had 4 1/3 shutout innings against the Tigers in the ALCS last year, including one save (Tigers were 1-for-13 against him that series). ... In four appearances at Comerica Park in regular season and postseason, Feliz tossed four shutout innings and converted all three save opportunities.

Justin Verlander (1-1, 2.13 ERA): The 29-year-old has pitched at least eight innings in all three of his 2012 starts. That includes a complete-game win in Kansas City in his last outing. ... He threw 131 pitches in that start and allowed two runs on seven hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. ... He made one regular-season start against the Rangers in 2011 and pitched a complete game, yet got the loss, allowing two runs on six hits in April. Alexi Ogando went seven shutout innings and Darren Oliver and Neftali Feliz pitched scoreless innings in the 2-0 Rangers win. ... In last year's ALCS, Verlander was 1-1 vs. Texas, but allowed seven runs on 13 hits in 11 1/3 innings with five walks and 13 strikeouts.

Hitters: The current Tigers are hitting .303 against Feliz, but only three have more than three at-bats against him: Don Kelly (0-for-4, 2 Ks), Ryan Raburn (1-for-4, 2B) and Delmon Young (1-for-4). ... Miguel Cabrera's one hit in three at-bats off Feliz was a homer. Feliz has never faced Prince Fielder. ... The Rangers are hitting just .211 against Verlander. ... Josh Hamilton leads the way at 4-for-11 with two RBIs. ... Adrian Beltre is 9-for-32 (.281) with a homer and three RBIs. ... Ian Kinsler (3-for-18) and Mike Napoli (3-for-15) haven't hit Verlander well.

Up Next:

Sun at Det: RHP Colby Lewis (2-0, 1.83) vs. LHP Drew Smyly (0-0, 0.90), 12:05 p.m., 103.3/1540/FSSW
Mon vs. NYY: LHP Derek Holland (2-0, 3.10) vs. RHP Hiroki Kuroda (1-2, 5.00), 6:08 p.m., 103.3/1540/FSSW/ESPN
Tue vs. NYY: RHP Yu Darvish (2-0, 3.57) vs. RHP Phil Hughes (1-2, 6.75), 7:05 p.m., 103.3/1540/FSSW
Wed vs. NYY: TBA vs. RHP Ivan Nova (3-0, 3.79 ERA), 7:05 p.m., 103.3/1540/FSSW
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Martin Perez
WINS ERA SO IP
3 1.86 20 29
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Rios .321
HRS. Choo 2
RBIK. Kouzmanoff 10
RE. Andrus 14
OPSS. Choo .932
ERAY. Darvish 1.61
SOY. Darvish 29