Series preview: Tigers at Indians (June 20-June 22)

Martinez the younger and Martinez the elder - Jason Miller

The Indians conclude this home stand with a visit from the reeling Detroit Tigers.

The weekend brings a three-game set between the Indians and Tigers. The Tribe is 2 games back of the Tigers and 2.5 games back of the division-leading Royals. A series win here would get the Indians to two games above .500, while a sweep would get them to four above for the first time all season, and into 2nd place in the Central (or 1st, if KC were to get swept by Seattle)

  • Friday's game is at 7:05 PM (Porcello vs. Kluber)
  • Saturday's game is  at 7:15 PM (Verlander vs. Bauer) [FOX]
  • Sunday's game is at 1:05 PM (Scherzer vs. Tomlin)

Monday is the first scheduled off day on the calendar since June 5. Then the Indians make their final west coast jaunt of the season. They will visit the Diamondbacks for two games, and then the Mariners and Dodgers for three each.

Division Watch: Mariners at Royals, White Sox at Twins.

Team in a Box

Detroit Tigers

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2014 Record

37-32

Runs/Game

4.4

7th

Runs/Game

4.5

7th

AL Central

2nd

OBP

325

5th

H/9

9.0

4th

Last 10

4-6

SLG

431

2nd

BB/9

3.1

5th

Last 30

10-20

Steals

48

4th

SO/9

7.6

11th

When last we saw the Tigers in mid-May, they arrived in Cleveland full of vim and vigor, riding a six game winning streak that included sweeps at Camden Yards and Fenway, and a major league best 27-12 record. The Indians proceeded to sweep them, including two walk off wins. That series started the freefall that has since engulfed the Tigers with a 10-20 record. The only series that the Tigers have won since were against the Red Sox and Twins.

The offense is still potent as they lead the league in average and are second in slugging, but they have been held to four runs or fewer in 20 of their past 30 games, including three shutouts. The pitching has fallen off the proverbial cliff in the past month. They led the league in runs allowed, H/9 and BB/9 in mid-May. They are now seventh, fourth and fifth respectively. The bad pitching has spread from the league's worst bullpen to the starters. Both Verlander and Scherzer were shelled by the Royals in their past starts. And their defense has nosedived from third to eleventh in errors and sixth to eleventh in fielding percentage.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

C

Alex Avila

L

198

212

692

1B

Miguel Cabrera

R

293

319

923

2B

Ian Kinsler

R

308

287

765

3B

Nick Castellanos

R

239

266

702

SS

Eugenio Suarez

R

42

286

1004

LF

Rajai Davis

R

213

274

710

CF

Austin Jackson

R

244

253

695

RF

Torii Hunter

R

241

266

732

DH

Victor Martinez

S

291

328

969

IF

Andrew Romine

S

136

216

538

OF

J.D. Martinez

R

108

300

903

UT

Don Kelly

L

92

232

596

C

Bryan Holaday

R

66

306

688

The MVP of the team this season is not the defending league MVP, but rather Victor Martinez. The former Indian has a ridiculous 332/385/595 slash, 17 homers and 45 RBI, but after a slow April, Cabrera is back to being his usual excellent self, hitting 318/372/544, with 12 home runs and 56 RBI. This will be the third straight series against the Tigers where they have a new shortstop. Suarez is just 22, has been on fire to start his career. Hunter has been nursing a sore hamstring, so J.D. Martinez might be getting extra time, and he has played very this year.

In the five games already played between the teams, Avila has a ludicrous 1665 OPS, while Victor, Kinsler, and Miggy are all above 950. Davis, Hunter, and Jackson have struggled the most in those five games. As a team, the Tigers have hit 8 homers in those 5 games.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

WHIP

K/9

Justin Verlander

R

4.98

97.2

1.556

6.4

Max Scherzer

R

3.84

98.1

1.251

10.2

Anibal Sanchez

R

2.33

69.2

0.933

7.6

Drew Smyly

L

3.48

67.1

1.292

7.6

Rick Porcello

R

4.03

82.2

1.246

5.8

Joe Nathan

R

6.31

25.2

1.558

8.4

Joba Chamberlain

R

2.87

31.1

1.149

9.8

Ian Krol

L

2.96

24.1

1.397

7.0

Al Alburquerque

R

3.04

26.2

1.200

9.8

Phil Coke

L

6.04

25.1

1.658

5.7

Blaine Hardy

L

0.00

3.0

1.000

9.0

Chad Smith

R

-

-

-

-

Last series I proclaimed Scherzer as the staff ace as Sanchez was out with an injury. But Scherzer has looked closer to average recently, so Sanchez is now the true ace of the staff. Luckily we miss Sanchez and the dreaded lefty, Smyly. Porcello has yet to face the Indians this season. Lifetime he is 8-3 in 19 starts, 3.59 ERA, 1.287 WHIP and 5.7 K/9. In 2013 he went 3-0 in four starts. He has not been good in his last five starts, 6.00 ERA, 1.667 WHIP and 6.0 K/9. Verlander is 1-1 this year against us but has a 4.37 ERA in 37 career start, with most of that damage prior to 2011. He has a 7.96 ERA, 1.769 WHIP and 5.7 K/9 in his last 5 starts, including 7 runs in each of past two. Scherzer took a no decision in the finale of the last series, when he gave up seven runs in seven innings. He is 8-4 in 16 starts, 4.75 ERA, 1.355 WHIP and 8.6 K/9. He has had only one good start in his past five, giving up 23 runs in just 32.1 innings, and that included a shutout.

Nathan has a tenuous hold on the closer's spot as he has a 12.86 ERA in 7 innings covering 9 games and a 2.714 WHIP since the May series. As poor as Nathan has been, Chamberlain has resurrected his career. He has been nasty agains tteh Tribe this year, 4.1 innings, four hots and five punch outs. Krol and Alburqurque have been pretty good as well. But Coke and the back end of the pen have been mostly terrible. Robbie Ray and Justin Miller both were optioned in the past month, while Evan Reed was DFA'ed when Sanchez came off the DL. Hardy made his debut this week, while Smith has yet to make his MLB debut.

On the Shelf

  • LF Andy Dirks [60 day DL], possible late June return
  • SS Jose Iglesias [60 day DL] , out for season
  • RP Bruce Rondon [60 day DL] , out for season
  • RP Joel Hanrahan [15 day DL], possible early July return
  • RP Luke Putkonen [15 day DL], possible late August return
  • RF Torii Hunter [day to day], sore right hamstring

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2014

4

1

800

30

25

583

2013

4

15

211

70

120

272

Last 5*

33

58

363

340

479

348

Last 10*

83

100

454

816

965

424

All-Time

1046

1087

490

9535

9819

487

*Does not include 2014 stats

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Let's Go Tribe

You must be a member of Let's Go Tribe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Let's Go Tribe. You should read them.

Join Let's Go Tribe

You must be a member of Let's Go Tribe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Let's Go Tribe. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker