Does it go without saying by now that the Detroit Tigers’ bullpen is an absolute train wreck? Yeah, okay, it goes without saying. If there is anything that can be said about the Tigers, they aren’t going anywhere too fast with the stable of horses they have in their pen.
I’ve been saying this for the past decade with the Tigers. Even when they were playing deep into the postseason and the World Series, the bullpen always left a gaping hole in an otherwise strong team.
There is no difference in this in 2017, the bullpen is getting worked. What’s making them look even worse, is the fact that the starting pitching has slowly regressed over the past five years or so.
At one point, their rotation was quite impressive, covering up the inefficiencies they had in their bullpen. However, the starters are getting into trouble far too often to protect them. The likes of Max Scherzer are dearly missed at a time like this for Detroit.
It isn’t like the Tigers’ pitching is a desolate wasteland, either. With names like Justin Verlander and Michael Fulmer, they provide some what looks like some lift. Nevertheless, Verlander has been tattooed thus far this season. Verlander holds an ERA of 6.04, along with a 1.55 WHIP in 2017.
He started last season off really slow, with people questioning if he’s over the hill. He ultimately finished with an ERA of 3.04, so don’t write him off just yet. Fulmer has been the only positive, with a 2.88 ERA.
The Tigers have been hoping Matt Boyd, Daniel Norris, or both would step up in a big way this season. Both have been serviceable, but not enough to save what’s been an abysmal year for the pitching staff. The Mariners will turn to King Felix tonight at Comerica, who will be going up against another struggling pitcher, Jordan Zimmermann. Get our Mariners vs. Tigers pick below.
Seattle Mariners vs. Detroit Tigers Pick
Felix Hernandez (2-1, 3.65 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (1-1, 5.94 ERA)
Felix Hernandez has had one heck of a career in Seattle. The lifetime Mariner will go down as one of the best pitchers from the last decade. However, are there signs of regression in Hernandez’s game? Oh, yeah, you bet there are indications that his arm is beginning to slow down. No, Felix hasn’t had the type of season where he should be taken out to pasture. Nonetheless, we have noted him slowing down some. In his past two seasons, his ERA has slipped from 2014, 2015, to 2016.
Hernandez had the best year of his career in 2014, where he posted a 2.14 ERA. That slipped to 3.53 in 2013, and then a 3.82 in 2016. He’s started the year out, through his first four outings with a 3.65 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. Hernandez holds a 4.09 ERA on the road this season in two starts.
He may not have to be vintage King Felix tonight, though. The Tigers rank dead last in pitching on the year. As a team, they have a 5.23 ERA, 30th in the majors. They have an ERA worse by 0.53 than the next team, the Giants, so they’ve been that bad.
Opposing hitters have an OBP of .347, which is pretty absurd. If Zimmermann gets into trouble here, where he probably will, the Tigers do not have much in the way to help him out. It isn’t often you’ve seen Hernandez draw a total of 8.5 in any of his starts, but I can see how it’s justified in this spot. The OVER looks like a good pick on Tuesday night in Detroit at Comerica.
PICK: OVER 8.5 (-110)