Though New York’s CC Sabathia(notes) has a major league-high 15 wins, it’s hard to argue that Weaver hasn’t been the best pitcher in baseball (14-4, 1.79 ERA) with Verlander (14-5, 2.34) not far behind.
Weaver has the lowest ERA in the majors and Verlander’s 173.0 innings pitched are the most in baseball. Opponents are batting just .193 versus Verlander and .201 against Weaver.
While they split the previous four times they’ve opposed each other, Weaver is 2-1 with 3.50 ERA when facing Verlander at Comerica Park. Verlander is 1-2 with a 4.71 ERA in those contests. The two split their two meetings in Detroit last season.
Weaver, the All-Star game starter for the AL, will try to help the Angels (59-49) to a second straight victory and series win while looking to win his sixth consecutive start. The right-hander allowed a run in seven innings of a 2-1 victory at Cleveland on Tuesday to improve to 8-0 with a 1.28 ERA in 12 starts since losing at Seattle on May 18.
“I don’t know how it’s happening,” Weaver said. “I’m just going out and doing my job. I get a lot of good defense behind me and timely hitting. I can’t get overexcited and have to just go out the next time and try to give my team a chance to win.”
Verlander, meanwhile, tries to win a third straight start after going eight innings and throwing more than 120 pitches in each of his last two outings. The right-hander gave up four runs for the second time in three starts in a 5-4 win at Chicago on Tuesday.
“If your horse says he’s OK, you leave him in there. That’s just the way it is,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said of Verlander, who has pitched at least eight innings in 12 of his 23 starts.
Though Verlander is 3-4 with a 4.13 ERA in 10 starts versus Los Angeles and looking to avoid a third consecutive losing start to the Angels, he gave up a run and struck out eight in 7 2-3 innings of a 1-0 loss at Anaheim on July 5.
Erick Aybar(notes) is batting .429 (9 for 21) with two doubles against Verlander and had three hits in the Angels’ 5-1 win Saturday. Mark Trumbo(notes) drove in his seventh run in the series to help Los Angeles win for the eighth time in 11 contests.
The Angels are two games behind first-place Texas in the AL West.
Trying to hang on to its lead in the Central, Detroit (56-51) has dropped five of eight. Magglio Ordonez(notes) and Miguel Cabrera(notes) combined for four of the Tigers’ six hits off Dan Haren(notes) on Saturday.
Ordonez and Cabrera are a combined 11 for 30 (.367) versus Weaver. Cabrera’s hit .341 his last 11 games.