The wintry Michigan weather that hit Comerica Park over the weekend, from the coldest game in Comerica Park history on Saturday to a snowy rainout on Sunday, is expected to give way to some better baseball weather for the Tigers and Pirates to begin a home-and-home series on Monday.
Sunday's rainout gives Justin Verlander a chance to improve upon his 25-3 career Interleague record. He was pushed back to Monday's opener, where he'll line up against left-hander Jonathon Niese.
Niese pitched better than his line indicated in his Pirates debut, as he struck out seven and walked one over five innings in the Bucs' 6-5, 11-inning win over the Cardinals on Tuesday. Verlander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Marlins in the Tigers' season opener last Tuesday.
Things to know about this game • Pittsburgh finished 13-7 against American League teams last season, going 8-2 on the road and sweeping the Tigers in a three-game series in Detroit. But the Tigers hold a 13-9 all-time edge at home against the Pirates.
• Niese has faced the Tigers once in his career, a 14-6 loss to Justin Verlander on June 22, 2010. Pitching for the Mets, Niese gave up six runs in 4 2/3 innings. He is 5-7 with a 4.83 ERA in 18 career Interleague starts and hasn't won one since April 12, 2013.
• The Tigers haven't seen much of Niese, who spent his entire career in New York before this season. But Justin Upton has hit .346 (9-for-26) with a .414 on-base percentage in 29 plate appearances against Niese, by far the most of any current Tigers hitter.