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Detroit Tigers lineup vs. Boston Red Sox: Colt Keith at DH, Matt Vierling leading off

Detroit Tigers (28-29) vs. Boston Red Sox (29-29)

When: 4:10 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Fenway Park in Boston.

TV: Bally Sports Detroit. (Have Xfinity but still looking for a way to watch BSD? Here are some other options.)

Radio: WXYT-FM (97.1). (Tigers radio affiliates).

Weather report: High of 74 degrees, mostly sunny, 10 mph winds.

Probable pitchers: Tigers RHP Reese Olson (1-5, 1.92 ERA) vs. Red Sox RHP Cooper Criswell (2-2, 4.19 ERA).

Lineup:

  1. RF Matt Vierling

  2. LF Riley Greene

  3. CF Wenceel Pérez

  4. 3B Gio Urshela

  5. DH Colt Keith

  6. 1B Spencer Torkelson

  7. 2B Zach McKinstry

  8. Javier Báez

  9. C Jake Rogers

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Reese Olson pitches in the first inning of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park in Detroit on Saturday, May 25, 2024.
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Reese Olson pitches in the first inning of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park in Detroit on Saturday, May 25, 2024.

• Box score

THE DEFENSE: Detroit Tigers' Riley Greene returns to center field at Fenway Park. Here's why

Game notes: Before the season started, it was widely speculated that Reese Olson may start the season with Triple-A Toledo. In a crowded rotation that added two veterans in the offseason, that made a lot of sense. Boy, that feels silly now.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a lot of pitchers who have been better than Olson this year, even though his 1-5 record certainly doesn't show how good he's been. Only four starting pitchers have a better ERA than Olson this year. Batters are hitting just .197 against the second-year starter, and in the month of May, that number was just .143.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Olson's season is just how consistent he's been, despite entering the season with just 103⅔ innings at the big league level. Olson has not allowed more than two earned runs in a game since April 8, his lone poor start of the season when he gave up six runs against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In eight of his 10 starts this year, the right-hander has given up one run or less, albeit in one of those starts he pitched just 2⅔ innings after taking a comebacker off the hip.

Tigers pitcher Reese Olson leaves a game after being struck by a ball hit by Royals second baseman Michael Massey in the third inning on Monday, May 20, 2024, in Kansas City, Missouri.
Tigers pitcher Reese Olson leaves a game after being struck by a ball hit by Royals second baseman Michael Massey in the third inning on Monday, May 20, 2024, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Olson's slider is his weapon of choice, throwing it 26.5% of the time, more than any other pitch, and can you blame him? The 24-year-old righty is able to locate it for strikes on the corner, but also makes hitters look foolish by throwing it low and away. His changeup isn't far behind in terms of effectiveness. Hitters have a .146 batting average against his changeup and a .195 slugging percentage against his third-most used pitch. When he's locating his fastball, good luck.

The only problem for Olson this year has been a lack of run support, but the Tigers batters finally helped him out last time and got him his first win of the season. The way things are trending, there's no reason to think Olson can't keep up what he's been doing and that spells a potentially long day for the Red Sox hitters on Saturday.

After Olson and Criswell's matchup, the two squads will face off one more time Sunday to close out the four-game series before the Tigers head out west to face the Texas Rangers.

THE TEAM'S OTHER ACE: Detroit Tigers' Tarik Skubal is dominating thanks to his obsession with first-pitch strikes

Live updates

For updates from and around the diamond, check it out here.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers game vs. Boston Red Sox: Time, TV channel, lineup