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Indians Vs. Tigers Preview: Tribe Try To Take Series Against Strong Justin Verlander

The Cleveland Indians thoroughly dominated the Detroit Tigers through the first half of this season. They held first place in the AL Central division and repeatedly bested their rivals in what most saw as an unlikely turnaround. Well, they've turned around once again and are going the opposite direction, now sitting four games back of the division lead behind, you guessed it, the Tigers.

Cleveland made a small dent in that in game one when they took a 3-2 win, but lost the most recent outing on Wednesday to split the series at a game apiece. They'll try to get back to winning ways and take this series on Thursday in game three as they send Zach McAllister to the mound.

McAllister is 4-2 on the season with a 3.21 earned run average. His last outing as a loss to the Baltimore Orioles in which he gave up three runs in just over seven innings of work, including two homeruns. It was a solid outing, he was just left in there a bit too long, having given up just five hits with no walks and six strikeouts.

His counter will be Justin Verlander, who many think is the best pitcher in baseball right now. He's sporting a 2.42 ERA on the season and an 11-5 record. His last outing was a 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox in which he allowed four hits and two runs over eight innings of work with six strikeouts.

The Indians have lost eight of their 13 games since the All-Star break and need to turn things around sooner rather than later. The Tigers have been playing excellent baseball and these are the crucial games to win. The game is set for 7:05 p.m. eastern.

For more on the Cleveland Indians, check out Let's Go Tribe. You can also head over to SB Nation's main MLB hub at Baseball Nation.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.