The White Sox and Tigers haven't played each other yet this season, but that's about to change.
Starting Tuesday, they'll face each other 19 times over the Tigers' final 74 games.
"It's crazy. I want to say this diplomatically right, because it boggles my mind that you haven't played a division opponent until three days before the All-Star break," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
The Tigers are on top of the division and the White Sox are on the bottom, but make no mistake, this series is just as important to Detroit as any other.
"Truth be known, the significance of the Tigers' success may end up being how well we do against the Chicago White Sox, who we have not played yet," Leyland said. "And that's a team that's going to get hot at some point. That can make you a little nervous. You know they're going to play good at some point. They have too much talent."
The White Sox will have their work cut out for them with right-hander Justin Verlander on the mound for the Tigers. Verlander shut down the Blue Jays for seven innings of three-hit ball in his most recent outing, showing some of the best pure stuff he has all season. He sustained his fastball at 97-98 mph, and buckled hitters with curveballs.
The White Sox will counter with Jose Quintana, who limited the O's to two hits over seven shutout innings, striking out 11 and walking just one his last time out. He last won on May 21 and has seven consecutive no-decisions.
The Tigers will be ready, as they are 35-19 against the White Sox since 2010. They went 12-6 against them last year.
"We've played the White Sox so much, and their personnel isn't significantly different, so we do know them and they know us pretty good," Leyland said. "That helps, but it helps them as much as it helps us. I don't think that'll be a major factor."
White Sox: Wise working his way back
Injured outfielder Dewayne Wise is 1-for-6 with one RBI and two appearances in center field in two injury rehab games for Triple-A Charlotte as he tests his strained right oblique. He returned from his first rehab assignment, for a strained right hamstring, on June 20.
• Jeff Keppinger is batting .333 in his last 13 games, and Alexei Ramirez is hitting .321 in his last 18 games.
• The White Sox are 19-21 at home and trying to avoid a losing home record in the first half for the second time in three years. They finished 21-25 in 2011.
Tigers: Southpaw opponents stacking up
The Tigers are preparing for a steady dose of left-handed pitching in the final week before the All-Star break, and they take on the Rangers for three games after the White Sox series.
"The ironic thing about this last seven-game stretch is, we might see as many as four lefties, so the right-handed-hitting group is going to be pretty important to this last seven-game stretch before the break," Leyland said. "You've got [Cleveland's Scott] Kazmir, you've got Quintana, you've got [Chris] Sale, you've probably got [the Rangers' Derek] Holland. That's four for sure. And we haven't seen any for a while. These guys are going to get an opportunity."
• The Tigers and Giants have announced a Final Vote partnership, encouraging Detroit fans to vote for Joaquin Benoit as well as San Francisco outfielder Hunter Pence, and vice versa. The teams unveiled the #BackBenoit and #BackPence hashtags, the official tags to be used to vote for the pair during Thursday's social media voting period between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET, which also marks the final six hours of voting.
• Prince Fielder, the reigning Home Run Derby champion, was selected by Yankees second baseman and team captain Robinson Cano to be part of the AL's team for 2013 Home Run Derby at Citi Field next week. Miguel Cabrera has also been asked to participate but is waiting to see if the stiffness in his back will subside enough for him to do so.
• Omar Infante's sprained left ankle kept him out of the lineup for the fifth consecutive game Monday. He sustained the injury on Colby Rasmus' slide on Wednesday in Toronto, and he said that a trip to the disabled list is a possibility.
"I have an MRI tomorrow on my ankle, and we'll see what happens," Infante said after Monday's game.
• Injured White Sox starter Jake Peavy, who has been on the DL since June 5 with a fractured left rib, threw a bullpen session on Friday in Tampa, Fla.