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Detroit Tigers series preview: Still probably bad

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These guys again

Baltimore Orioles v Detroit Tigers Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Four games in three days between two teams who are still projected to lose 90-plus games. The possibilities before the viewing public know no limits. Or at least no limits in terms of how low things can go.

The Tigers have finagled a 7-9 record through their stilted first 16 games. Not unlike the Royals, Detroit has endured a slew of postponed games, including the game which they are making up as the first part of Friday’s [probably] marijuana-themed doubleheader. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. You’re gonna need something to dull the pain of watching 2018 Royals baseball.

Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Friday, April 20, 2018 - 12:10 PM CDT - Jason Hammel versus Michael Fulmer (makeup of April 4)
  • Friday, April 20, 2018 - 6:10 PM CDT - Jake Junis versus Daniel Norris (L)
  • Saturday, April 21, 2018 - 12:10 PM CDT - Danny Duffy (L) versus Mike Fiers
  • Sunday, April 22, 2018 - 12:10 PM CDT - Eric Skoglund (L) versus Francisco Liriano (L)

*All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference and through games ending Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Royals at Tigers pitching matchups

Friday (Game 1) G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Friday (Game 1) G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Jason Hammel 3 16.1 12 16.4 5 6.9 3.86 3.35 4.23 4.36 0.3 0.3
Michael Fulmer 3 16.1 9 12.7 5 7.0 3.86 4.88 4.60 4.65 0.1 -0.1
Friday (Game 2) G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Jake Junis 3 18.2 16 21.9 4 5.5 1.93 4.61 4.48 3.80 0.1 0.9
Daniel Norris (L) 2 6.1 9 30.0 3 10.0 7.11 1.69 2.41 2.80 0.1 -0.1
Saturday G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Danny Duffy (L) 4 21.0 23 25.6 11 12.2 3.86 4.34 4.45 4.23 0.2 0.3
Mike Fiers 2 11.2 10 20.4 2 4.1 3.86 4.39 3.73 3.49 0.1 0.1
Sunday G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Eric Skoglund (L) 2 9.2 7 14.6 3 6.3 9.31 6.24 6.09 4.80 -0.1 -0.3
Francisco Liriano (L) 3 17.2 14 20.0 8 11.4 2.55 4.35 4.52 4.64 0.1 0.6

Duffy is going on three days’ rest, so he may be on a short leash. Scott Barlow returns as the 26th man for the doubleheader on Friday, after not getting into the doubleheader in Toronto on Tuesday.

For the Tigers’ pitchers, Michael Fulmer’s velocity is down more than a tick thus far, but it’s probably too early to make any proclamations about that being a permanent development. He’s still going sinker, changeup, slider, four-seamer, but his Ks have been way down in his first three starts. Daniel Norris has only made two long-relief appearances out of the pen thus far, but his peripherals have looked great. His ERA? Not so hot. Mike Fiers’s first start in a Tigers uniform was solid, but he endured a rough second one at the hands of the Yankees. The Royals’ offense is much more like the White Sox than the Yankees’ offense. In his first three starts as a Tiger, Francisco Liriano has been beneficiary of some pretty lucky breaks. He’s sporting a .217 BABIP and an 87.2% strand-rate (low-to-mid-70s would be average), and his velocity is down more than a tick across the board. His ERA will likely regress.

Detroit Tigers position players

Player Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Player Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Nicholas Castellanos RF 66 0 11 5 0 .305 .379 .424 .356 124 0.3 0.4
Leonys Martin (L) CF 62 1 9 3 1 .268 .339 .375 .321 100 0.3 0.0
Jeimer Candelario (S) 3B 70 2 4 5 0 .238 .314 .460 .338 112 0.2 0.4
Victor Martínez (S) DH 52 1 3 8 0 .304 .365 .457 .360 127 0.2 0.2
John Hicks C 14 1 2 3 0 .154 .214 .462 .290 80 0.1 0.1
James McCann C 46 1 3 8 0 .195 .261 .293 .251 53 0.1 0.1
JaCoby Jones LF 26 0 1 0 2 .238 .385 .238 .308 91 0.1 0.2
Dixon Machado 2B 57 1 5 9 0 .236 .263 .418 .296 83 0.1 0.1
Niko Goodrum (S) Util 31 1 3 3 3 .179 .258 .321 .262 61 0.0 0.2
Miguel Cabrera 1B 63 2 6 10 0 .255 .333 .436 .326 104 0.0 -0.2
José Iglesías SS 52 0 5 2 1 .128 .212 .191 .193 14 0.0 0.0
Victor Reyes (S) OF 5 0 4 0 1 .200 .200 .200 .179 4 -0.1 0.0

Detroit’s position players have amassed 1.6 fWAR thus far, tying them for 19th in MLB with the Twins. Their 93 wRC+ is tied for 18th with the Twins and Padres. They are tied for 19th in DRS (-4) and tied for 18th in UZR (-1.3). In nearly every way, they’re right around the cut-off for the bottom third of the league.

Poll

How will the Royals fare in Detroit?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Royals sweep
    (5 votes)
  • 4%
    Royals take three of four
    (8 votes)
  • 27%
    Split two games apiece
    (44 votes)
  • 43%
    Tigers take three of four
    (70 votes)
  • 21%
    Tigers sweep
    (34 votes)
161 votes total Vote Now