The 8-8 Tigers and Twins turn their attention to Saturday, after the Twins took the first game of the series on Friday night. Once again, Tigers’ pitching took a beating, notably the bullpen. The bullpen has really been the problem in Detroit for the greater part of the last decade.
You can say that for a lot of teams, but the Tigers have seemingly neglected the bullpen over and over again. Instead of reinforcing the bullpen, they’ve primarily spent it on offense during that time.
A steady bullpen can make the difference for a team. Just ask the Royals’ World Series team from a couple of years ago. They didn’t have a star-studded offense to help them out, it was more a timely offense that depended on a rock solid bullpen to get them through the money innings. Conversely, the Tigers were getting hammered left and right through the 7-9 innings.
Pitching has been lackluster at best for the Tigers. Other than Justin Verlander and Michael Fulmer, there isn’t much to get excited about. Verlander got the start yesterday, and he didn’t play his best at all, though. The Tigers are hoping that Matt Boyd pans out in 2017 and gives the rotation some lift. A lot is certainly riding on his arm.
The Twins were able to get to Verlander, hitting him for 4 runs across 5 innings of work. Verlander finished the contest with an ERA of 6.04. Matt Boyd will get his turn to start on the mound for the Tigers, while the Twins look to Adalberto Mejia. We’ll see who can get over .500 today. Get our Saturday MLB pick below.
Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins Pick
Matt Boyd (2-1, 3.77 ERA) vs. Adalberto Mejia (0-1, 4.05 ERA)
Note that this is an afternoon start in Minnesota on Saturday, so get your bets in on time if you are looking to make a wager on this game. Hopefully the early start time means a better performance from the Tigers today. Boyd gets the start, as he looks to get a carryover effect from his last two starts.
He’s allowed just 1 run in his last two starts, including no runs and only 1 hit surrendered against the Twins. Boyd allowed 5 runs in his opening start, but has responded nicely.
In Boyd’s last two starts against the Twins, he allowed just 1 run and 4 hits in 14 innings of work. For Mejia, he really has to start showing something on the hump if he wants to stay around in the starting rotation. His only history of starting came last year, where he had two starts for a 4.05 ERA. The year prior, he posted an ERA of 7.71 coming out of the bullpen.
Mejia has had two starts this season, both against the White Sox. He got pulled early after allowing 3 runs in 2.1 innings, and then he settled down in the next start for 1 run allowed across 5 innings. The Tigers are on a four-game losing streak, while the Twins just snapped a losing streak of their own. I see it as the Tigers’ turn on Saturday to end theirs. The Tigers are the pick for Saturday on the diamond.
PICK: TIGERS (-115)