Verlander, who was 24-5 in winning the American League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards last season, is a pedestrian 5-4, but does have a 2.69 ERA in 13 starts.
He has struck out 95 in 93 2/3 innings.
The Cubs expect to see Verlander at his best or close to it.
"He has command of every pitch he throws and that's what's so tough," outfielder David DeJesus said Wednesday. "He can throw any pitch at any time. We just have to stay positive. He's going to go through times when he's dominant and if he makes a mistake, we have to take advantage of it."
DeJesus has had some success against Verlander, going 14-for-46 (304) against the Tigers' ace.
"I've been fortunate enough to get one over the plate and be able to do something with it," he said.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said his hitters have to be ready if and when Verlander makes a mistake.
"He's a guy you can't wait around with," Sveum said."He's got out pitches. If you see a strike, you better do something with it."
Sveum speaks almost reverently of Verlander's prowess.
"He can throw his last pitch of a nine-inning game 102 mph, which I witnessed a few years ago in a no-hitter," Sveum said. "His last pitch against the Brewers was 102 on the outside black to J.J. Hardy. It was one of the most impressive things I've ever seen.
"His stuff is as electric as Nolan Ryan's was in his day and J.R. Richard and some of the guys in the past who have had this incredible stuff."
Verlander fought his way through six tough innings in a no-decision against the Pirates in his last outing Saturday.
He pitched six innings and threw 127 pitches in the Tigers' 3-2 victory.
"We came through," Verlander said. "If we're going to be a good ballclub, like I think we will be, we've got to win those tight ones like today, those one-run, 3-2, 2-1 type games."
Detroit manager Jim Leyland praised Verlander's fortitude.
"Six innings on some days is one thing," Leyland said. "Six innings on another day is another thing. And that's what I mean by 'another thing.' What you saw today was 'another thing.' That wasn't just a normal seven innings. That was exertion."
Tigers: Boesch, Peralta hot
On a night when the dynamic duo of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder were a combined 2-for-9 with no RBIs, right fielder Brennan Boesch and shortstop Jhonny Peralta took up the slack nicely in Wednesday's 8-4 victory.
Boesch had four hits, including a homer, scored twice and had two RBIs and Peralta had three hits, including a double and triple, scored twice and had two RBIs.
Cubs: Wood gets the start
Left-hander Travis Wood will be Chicago's starter. Wood is 0-2 with a 4.71 ERA in five starts. He did not get a decision in his last outing Friday against the Twins after working five innings and giving up six hits and three earned runs in an 8-7 Cubs loss.
Third baseman Ian Stewart will be placed on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday with a sore left wrist.
The Tigers have compiled a 75-41 record, a .647 winning percentage, during Interleague Play since the start of the 2006 season. That's the second-best record in that period, behind only the Red Sox.