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Series preview: Cardinals at Tigers

The Cardinals head to Detroit for a three game series tonight against the Tigers, a battle of teams falling short of high pre-season expectations.

St. Louis is 34-33 after another disappointing series loss to the Royals over the weekend while Detroit -- despite adding one of the priciest free agents of the winter in Prince Fielder -- is somehow two games under .500 at 32-34.

In the first game of the series, the Cardinals send spectacular first year starter Lance Lynn (10-2, 2.42) to the mound against Tigers ace -- and 2011 Cy Young Award Winner -- Justin Verlander (6-4, 2.66).

Verlander has struck out 103 hitters this season while walking only 23. But the Cardinals have had success against the hard-throwing hurler in the past with 11 runs scored against him in 18 innings spread over three starts.

Lynn has never started against Detroit before. But he's 6-1 with a 2.32 ERA in road games this season.

Jake Westbrook (5-6, 4.27) goes to the hill for the Cardinals in the second game of the series against Rick Porcello 4-4, 5.18).

Westbrook has struggled since he started the season with a strong April. But he had a very strong outing his last start -- at least until the last inning. Against the White Sox, Westbrook -- 6-8 with a 5.88 ERA in his career against Detroit -- was throwing a shut out in the sixth inning when Adam Dunn hit a three-run homer against him.

Porcello beat the Cardinals in his lone start against St. Louis, although he couldn't make it out of the sixth inning in that game. In his most recent outing Porcello gave up nine hits and four runs against the Cubs but still managed to get his first win since May 6.

Kyle Lohse (6-2, 2.98) will face the Tigers and St. Charles native Jacob Miller in the finale.

Lohse is 7-6 with a 5.95 ERA in his career against Detroit. Miller is making his season debut against his hometown team.