Yu, Verlander lined up to meet Thursday in Texas

Yu, Verlander lined up to meet Thursday in Texas

HOUSTON -- The Rangers and the Tigers are headed for a marquee pitching matchup for the opener of their four-game series on Thursday night at the Ballpark in Arlington.

If the rotations aren't altered by weather, Yu Darvish will pitch against Detroit's Justin Verlander, who started on Saturday against the Indians in Cleveland while Darvish was going against the Astros.

Verlander has made 11 career starts against the Rangers, and is 7-2 with a 2.02 ERA. That's the third lowest career ERA by a pitcher with at least 10 career starts against the Rangers. The lowest is Pedro Martinez with a 1.87 ERA, followed by Mike Cuellar with a 1.94 ERA. Darvish is 3-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three career starts against the Tigers, but this would be the first time to face Verlander.

"He's used to pitching in big games," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He understands the situation when he's out there facing a big-time pitcher. The bigger the situation, the more he wants to be out there. He feels like he wants to be the guy for the team."

Verlander is just one of at least eight straight right-handed starters the Rangers will face through next weekend. They went up against left-hander Erik Bedard on Saturday night, and he was the 11th lefty they have faced in the last 18 games. On Sunday, the Astros are pitching right-hander Jordan Lyles and that starts the run of righties.

The Rangers are scheduled to face right-handers A.J. Griffin, Bartolo Colon and Dan Straily during their three-game series with the Athletics that begins Monday in Oakland. The Tigers' rotation for the four-game series in Texas is expected to be Verlander, Rick Porcello, Anibal Sanchez and Doug Fister. All are righties. The Rangers will likely miss Max Scherzer.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.