Little known fact: Tigers are not native to Detroit.
The Detroit Tigers have been in a bit of a tailspin. On June 4, they were a .500 ballclub, at 28-28. Their win on Sunday ran their record to 33-42, meaning they’ve won just 5 of their past 19 games, channeling the April Royals. The Royals will have to hope that those losing ways continue, as the pitching matchups don’t look great for Kansas City.
Game times and pitching matchups:
- Tuesday, June 27, 6:10 PM CDT - Matt Strahm (L) vs. Justin Verlander
- Wednesday, June 28, 6:10 PM CDT - Ian Kennedy vs. Daniel Norris (L)
- Thursday, June 29, 12:10 PM CDT - Jake Junis vs. Michael Fulmer
Royals at Tigers pitching matchups
|Matt Strahm (L)||22||30.0||33||25.6||20||15.5||4.80||4.77||4.84||4.70||0.0||0.1|
|Daniel Norris (L)||14||77.1||74||21.3||34||9.8||4.66||4.00||4.75||4.65||1.3||0.6|
It does not take much looking at these pitching matchups to come to the conclusion that the Royals are at a disadvantage in all three games. Michael Fulmer has been Detroit’s most valuable pitcher this season, thanks in large part to Justin Verlander’s walk rate spiking. Verlander’s 11.2 BB% is not only the highest mark of his career, but it’s more than 3.0 percentage points higher than any other mark he’s had since 2008. This walk spike comes without a dip in velocity but opponents’ Contact % is back up to 80.6%, which falls in the close proximity to his marks in that department in the years in which he has struggled more. Verlander will also have to face Salvador Pérez, who owns a .418/.414/.673 slash against the right-hander with eight doubles, two dongs, 14 RBI, and seven strikeouts in 55 at-bats with his 1.087 OPS against Verlander his second-best mark against any pitcher against whom he’s registered at least 20 at-bats. Daniel Norris has seen his BABIP settle in at .349, a mark much worse than his career .309 BABIP, suggesting he is likely due for some positive regression to the mean.
Tigers position players
|Alex Avila (L)||C/1B||186||10||23||27||0||.325||.441||.591||.434||174||2.4||2.4|
|Matt den Dekker (L)||OF||1||0||0||0||0||.000||.000||.000||.000||-100||0.0||0.0|
|Andrew Romine (S)||CF||181||2||27||15||1||.235||.307||.346||.288||75||-0.5||-0.2|
Alex Avila and Justin Upton have been the clear standouts for the Tigers on the position players side of the equation. As a unit, they’ve slashed .253/.328/.427, marks .009/.030/.025 better than the Royals. Their .324 wOBA and 100 wRC+ put them right at league average, and their 8.5 fWAR amassed ranks them at the 15th slot amongst major league clubs. The Tigers have just three more home runs than Kansas City, but they’ve scored 65 more runs than the Royals. This happens when a team walks more and has a .303 BABIP instead of a .279 BABIP. It’s almost like swinging at fewer pitches puts batters at an advantage. The Tigers will likely be without the services of Jim Adduci and Alex Presley, both of whom are currently on the disabled list, but Victor Martínez is expected to be activated for Wednesday’s game after going on the DL with an irregular heartbeat.
How will the Royals fare in Detroit?
This poll is closed
Royals take two of three
Tigers take two of three
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