Cleveland Indians Series Preview: Detroit Tigers, June 7-June 9

Miggy & Prince - Greg Fiume

After a much needed day of rest, the Indians try to revive themselves with a three game series in the Motor City.

The Indians continue this grueling roadtrip Tigers with a three game set that is scheduled for Friday June 6 at 7:08 PM, Saturday June 7 at 4:08 PM, and a Sunday tilt at 1:08 PM. The Tribe looks to avenge a two game series sweep at home two weeks ago. Afterwards, the Tribe heads to Arlington to conclude this trip with the Texas Rangers.

Team in a Box

Detroit Tigers

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

31-26

Runs/Game

5.2

3rd

Runs/Game

3.9

2nd

AL Central

1st

OBP

348

1st

H/9

8.1

2nd

Last 10

4-6

SLG

431

5th

BB/9

2.7

4th

Last 30

15-15

Steals

18

15th

SO/9

9.7

1st

*[All stats through Wednesday's results]

Since last we met the Tigers, they took three of four from the Twins at home and then lost three of four in the home and homer series with the Pirates. They then lost a series in Baltimore and just took two of three from the Rays at home. Their starting rotation has been very good lately, averaging around three runs per start. It has been their hitting that has failed them as they have been shut out three times and scored three or less in three others. On offense, their runs per game have dropped from first to third but they still lead the league in average and on-base percentage. They have landed in the basement with only 16 steals. The pitching has risen from sixth to second in runs, risen from seventh to second in H/9 and they now lead the league with a crazy 9.7 K/9.

Projected Lineup

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

LF

Andy Dirks

L

191

247

305

368

80

RF

Torii Hunter

R

233

304

353

411

105

3B

Miguel Cabrera

R

267

366

446

659

192

1B

Prince Fielder

L

260

282

392

514

141

DH

Victor Martinez

S

234

226

278

311

58

SS

Jhonny Peralta

R

227

332

376

486

130

C

Alex Avila

L

158

180

272

309

56

2B

Omar Infante

R

218

297

335

421

102

CF

Avisail Garcia

R

50

277

320

447

103

With Jackson out, Garcia has had most of the starts in center. Leyland continues to play Dirks in left but Matt Tuiasosospo is raking this season so hopefully he stays on the bench. As good as Cabrera was last season, he is scintillating this year. He has another excellent shot at a triple crown. The Tribe has not figured him out at all as he has a 364/440/864 slash and a ridiculous 242 sOPS in five games against us. Fielder has been his usual excellent self and old friend Jhonny has been very good this year. Those three have done most of the damage as the rest of the lineup is right around league average with Avila and old pal Victor the two black holes. With Avila's struggles we could see more of Brayan Pena. Victor should be safe as neither Ramon Santiago or Don Kelly hit well unless Leyland decides to play Tuiasosopo and Dirks at the same time.

Projected Starters

Date

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

June 7

Justin Verlander (Jimenez)

R

3.70

73.0

115

9.2

3.0

10.7

June 8

Rick Porello (Masterson)

R

5.21

57.0

82

9.6

1.7

7.4

June 9

Anibel Sanchez (Kazmir)

R

2.65

78.0

160

7.6

2.2

11.3

Verlander has struggled in both starts against us this year, not reaching the sixth. He has righted himself in the last two starts, but hasn't been dominant in over a month. Porcello pitched very well against us in his only start, and other than his recent blowup against the Twins has been very effective for about a month. Although we finally miss Scherzer, we now get the current staff ace of the Tigers. Verlander may be the staff ace in name only as Sanchez has been leaps and bounds better than him this year. Pittsburgh did rough him up a little two starts ago. He was excellent against us in his four starts last year, 2-1, 1.75 ERA, and that was before he became this year's Nolan Ryan.

Key Relievers

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Jose Valverde

R

3.55

12.2

50

5.0

2.8

7.8

Joaquin Benoit

R

1.88

24.0

229

6.0

3.0

10.9

Drew Smyly

L

2.04

35.1

210

6.6

2.5

9.4

Valverde pitched two scoreless innings in the last series after blowing the save in the first series. He was doing very well until the Orioles touched him for four on May 31. Phil Coke is ahead of Smyly on the depth chart, but Smyly has been much better this year, leading the pen in innings pitched. He has struggled in his two appearances against us however, giving up four runs in 2.2 innings. Benoit has been his usual excellent self against us this year, 2.2 scoreless innings with just two baserunners and four strikeouts. The other pen options are Phil Coke (72 ERA+), Jose Ortega (113 ERA+) and Darin Downs (137 ERA+).

On the Shelf

  • RP Octavio Dotel (right elbow inflammation) - 15-day DL, possible June return
  • CF Austin Jackson (pulled left hamstring) - 15-day DL, possible mid-June return

The Tigers have stayed healthy so far in 2013 with no changes to the injury list since last we met.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2013

2

3

400

23

35

317

2012

10

8

556

68

83

410

Last 5*

40

50

444

385

460

419

Last 10*

91

92

497

855

922

466

All-Time

1040

1074

492

9455

9709

488

*Does not include 2013 stats

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