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Smyly set to face Angels in his first start of '14

Smyly set to face Angels in his first start of '14 play video for Smyly set to face Angels in his first start of '14

DETROIT -- Tigers left-hander Drew Smyly's first start of the season is now set for Friday's series opener against the Angels.

Smyly was originally slated to face the Indians on Wednesday, but Tuesday's postponement pushed Anibal Sanchez to that game and forced Smyly to be pushed back yet again. Unlike the rainout against the Royals last homestand, which knocked Smyly out of the rotation for more than a week, the difference this time is just a couple of days.

The difference will be more about the opponent than the day. While Cleveland's lineup is loaded with left-handed batters and switch-hitters, the Angels' lineup leans right-handed, especially now with Josh Hamilton and Kole Calhoun out. Their two primary run producers, Albert Pujols and Mike Trout, both bat right-handed, as do David Freese, Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar.

That said, the Angels have so far hit right- and left-handed pitchers about the same.

Max Scherzer will follow Smyly in the rotation, facing the Angels on Saturday. Rick Porcello, who had been on track for Friday, will instead pitch Sunday's series finale. Porcello will now miss next week's four-game series against the White Sox, a team he beat four times with two no-decisions last season and a 2.13 ERA.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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