We always talk about getting hot at the right time, and the Detroit Tigers have been playing pretty good baseball lately to draw closer to the Indians in the American League Central. They have been stuck two games back for the past few days, but it wasn’t all that long ago when the Tigers were 6 games back of the division lead. The Tigers have gone 10-2 in their last twelve games, with the second loss coming yesterday against the New York Mets. However, Detroit was still able to take two of three from the Mets, a solid effort which keeps them within striking distance of the 1st place Indians.
Both teams lost yesterday, so it was a wash on Sunday. The Tigers could have come within a game before heading on the road, but now are out west in Seattle. Nevertheless, without this 10-2 run they would have been sitting much farther back. This is a race between the Indians and Tigers, with the Royals falling out of the picture.
Michael Fulmer is one of those players responsible for the Tigers’ recent resurgence. The Mets parted ways with Fulmer in the Cespedes trade, and it looks like both teams have gotten some good out of the trade. Although, in the long run, the Tigers are going to win there. Can you imagine the rotation if the Mets kept Fulmer? But it begs the question, would Fulmer have been able to showcase his stuff in their rotation?
Who knows how the Mets would have handled him, but all we know is that he thriving with the Tigers and is looking at taking the torch from Justin Verlander in Detroit. A pretty good pitching matchup tonight, as Fulmer draws Hisashi Iwakuma on the other side. The Mariners are hoping for a magical run to get them into the postseason. A win yesterday against the Angels bumped them up to 57-53, so they are teetering on success and failure. Another win tonight against the hot Tigers would be a nice step towards success.
Detroit Tigers vs. Seattle Mariners
Michael Fulmer (9-2, 2.42 ERA) vs. Hisashi Iwakuma (12-7, 3.99 ERA)
Fulmer has exceeded expectations this season, it goes without saying. The rookie has started his career in the majors with a record of 9-2 and 2.42 ERA. Fulmer was also setting records along the way while lifting the Tigers up and back into the postseason hunt. In his last start against the White Sox, Fulmer outdueled Chris Sale, allowing only 1 run across 6.2 innings of work. The only mishap, albeit a minor one, Fulmer had was against the White Sox on the road where he gave up 4 runs. Fulmer allowed 5 runs in his second start as a major league pitcher and those 4 runs against the White Sox, it’s the most damage any team has done against him.
Fulmer has already fooled the Mariners once, as they went on to score only 1 run against him on June 22nd. Seattle will have another shot at Fulmer tonight. Iwakuma enters with a 3.99 ERA and 3.86 in his last three games. The Tigers are coming off night straight games at home, while the Mariners are playing their eighth at home tonight where they are 30-25. The public seems to jumping all over Fulmer, yet the price on the Mariners has gotten pricier. I think the Tigers might be sleeping a bit on the road in their first game away from Comerica Park since July 27th. This is a spot bet for me on the Mariners.
PICK: MARINERS TO WIN -107