Sox have much at stake in Detroit

The first-place White Sox begin a crucial three-game set in Detroit on Friday. Rick Osentoski/US Presswire

Here’s a look at the Chicago White Sox’s upcoming three-game series with the Detroit Tigers:

The lead: The White Sox will either take a two- or three-game American League Central lead into Detroit on Friday. The White Sox dropped three out of four games against the Baltimore Orioles. The White Sox’s game ended Thursday afternoon, and the Detroit Tigers finish up their series with the Kansas City Royals in the evening. With a win, the Tigers would pull within two games.

Head to head: The White Sox won the first two games against the Tigers this season, but they’ve struggled since then. The Tigers now lead the series 4-7.

What’s remaining: The White Sox have seven remaining games with the Tigers. They play three times in Detroit this weekend and have a four-game series in Chicago from Sept. 10-13.

Friday matchup: White Sox right-handed pitcher Jake Peavy (9-9, 3.09) will go up against Tigers right-handed pitcher Doug Fister (7-8, 3.67) on Friday at 6:05 p.m. on CSN.

Peavy will make his fifth start of the season against the Tigers. He’s had mixed results so far. He’s gone 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA against the Tigers.

The White Sox are hopeful a rested Peavy will fare better this time around. Peavy last pitched on Aug. 24. Throughout his career when he’s had six days or more rest, he’s 21-10 with a 3.17 ERA in 39 starts.

Peavy also hasn’t allowed more than three runs in his last six starts. The last team he allowed four runs against was Detroit on July 20.

Fister hasn’t faced the White Sox this season. Fister has been dealing with a groin injury, but is expected to pitch on Friday. He allowed seven runs in 3 2/3 innings in his last start on Aug. 19.

Saturday’s matchup: White Sox left-handed pitcher Francisco Liriano (5-10, 5.06) will go up against Tigers right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer (14-6, 4.13) at 6:05 p.m. on WGN.

Liriano has made two relief appearances against the Tigers this season, but he hasn’t started. He has a 10.80 ERA in 3 1/3 innings in those two appearances this season.

Liriano has been solid since coming to the White Sox from the Minnesota Twins. He hasn’t allowed more than two runs in five of his six starts since joining the team.

Scherzer leads the Tigers with 14 wins. He’s 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA in three starts against the White Sox this season. He is also 4-0 in his last four starts. He didn’t allow more than two runs and struck out at least eight hitters in all four starts.

Sunday’s matchup: In the premier game, White Sox left-handed pitcher Chris Sale (15-5, 2.81 ERA) will match up against Tigers right-handed pitcher Justin Verlander (12-7, 2.80 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN2.

Verlander is coming off his worst start of the season. He allowed 12 hits and eight runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday. He’s 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in one start against the White Sox this season.

Sale is also coming off a shaky start where he allowed six hits, four runs and three walks in four innings against the Orioles. Sale is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in two starts against the Tigers this season.