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Detroit Tigers series preview: Does the fun ever start?

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The least interesting series ever comes to life

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers
A Tiger.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Is it possible for a series to be less interesting than a Royals/White Sox series? Time will tell as the Kansas City Royals venture into Comerica Park to face the Detroit Tigers. These teams have played each other a bunch, yet it seems like maybe they haven’t played each other at all because there’s not one memorable thing that happened in any of the previous series between these down-on-their-luck clubs this year.

Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Thursday, September 20 — 6:10 PM CDT — Jorge Lòpez versus Matthew Boyd (L)
  • Friday, September 21 — 6:10 PM CDT — Ian Kennedy versus Francisco Liriano (L)
  • Saturday, September 22 — 5:10 PM CDT — Jakob Junis versus Jordan Zimmermann
  • Sunday, September 23 — 12:10 PM CDT — Brad Keller versus Daniel Norris (L)

Royals at Tigers pitching matchups

Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Game 1
Jorge López 16 52.2 38 17.0 22 9.9 3.93 3.76 4.56 4.75 0.6 0.3
Matthew Boyd (L) 29 165.1 155 22.9 49 7.2 4.08 4.09 4.66 4.24 2.6 2.8
Game 2
Ian Kennedy 20 106.2 97 20.8 39 8.4 4.73 4.65 4.66 4.55 0.8 0.5
Francisco Liriano (L) 25 125.0 101 18.5 69 12.6 4.54 5.29 4.78 5.09 0.1 0.2
Game 3
Jakob Junis 28 165.0 153 21.7 41 5.8 4.42 4.83 4.17 3.98 0.8 1.2
Jordan Zimmermann 23 120.1 102 20.0 22 4.3 4.41 4.75 4.29 4.14 0.9 0.6
Game 4
Brad Keller 40 133.1 94 16.9 47 8.4 3.17 3.52 4.17 4.42 2.4 3.3
Daniel Norris (L) 9 34.2 40 25.6 15 9.6 5.71 4.56 4.27 3.98 0.2 0.0

These pitchers are all so well known to Royals fans that it makes you want to retch. The only semi-interesting thing going on this series will be how much Ned Yost decides to let Ryan O’Hearn and the other young hitters who struggle against lefties play against the three southpaws the Royals will be facing.

Detroit Tigers position players

Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Nicholas Castellanos RF/DH 635 21 80 82 2 .297 .354 .491 .360 129 3.0 2.4
Jeimer Candelario (S) 3B 582 19 74 53 2 .228 .316 .407 .314 98 2.3 1.9
Niko Goodrum (S) Util 458 16 52 45 12 .236 .310 .431 .319 101 1.1 1.5
JaCoby Jones CF 429 11 47 34 11 .210 .264 .379 .278 73 1.1 2.2
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (S) C 3 0 0 0 0 .000 .333 .000 .230 40 0.0 0.0
Grayson Greiner C 99 0 8 10 0 .224 .313 .294 .275 70 0.0 -0.1
Christin Stewart (L) LF/DH 41 0 3 1 0 .229 .341 .257 .282 75 0.0 -0.4
Mikie Mahtook LF/CF 224 8 22 27 4 .216 .290 .377 .289 80 0.0 0.8
Jim Adduci (L) 1B 169 3 18 20 1 .273 .293 .404 .299 87 -0.1 0.1
James McCann C 432 8 31 35 0 .216 .264 .313 .254 56 -0.2 -0.6
Pete Kozma SS 51 1 5 6 0 .163 .180 .265 .192 14 -0.2 -0.1
Dawel Lugo 2B 72 0 6 6 0 .206 .250 .265 .230 40 -0.3 0.3
Victor Reyes (S) OF 209 1 33 11 9 .232 .250 .300 .240 46 -0.8 -0.5
Ronny Rodriguez SS 184 4 16 19 2 .206 .247 .312 .244 50 -0.8 -1.2
Victor Martinez (S) DH 498 9 31 53 0 .247 .295 .348 .278 73 -1.7 -1.2

After losing José Iglesias, Miguel Cabrera, and John Hicks for the season, the Tigers have two above-average hitters and four above-replacement-level (per fWAR) position players. To say things don’t look good for this squad would be accurate. Having accumulated 8.4 fWAR as the final week of the season approaches, they have been the third-worst collection of hitters and fielders in baseball. Their 84 wRC+ puts them in a five-way tie for the worst mark in baseball. Their .295 wOBA is fourth-worst in the game.

Poll

Who will win this series?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    Royals
    (22 votes)
  • 11%
    Tigers
    (7 votes)
  • 35%
    No one
    (21 votes)
  • 15%
    Screw this, I’m watching Mandy on a loop
    (9 votes)
59 votes total Vote Now