The Detroit Tigers seemed to be heading for a big skid, but as great teams do, they stopped the bleeding and turned it around into something positive. After getting beat for four games straight after their sizzling start, the Tigers have now won three straight games and are back on track. I didn’t think they were going to fall off the map or anything, but a few losses in a row can quickly turn into a catastrophe if teams don’t look out. A very impressive start could have been for nothing there, but all is well in the Motor City, and they are still one of the favorites to win the World Series. Anyways, they would need one heck of a downslide for me to think otherwise.
Every team in the league will hit dry spells. How they respond is what separates the men from the boys, and the Tigers are certainly among the men of baseball. With what looked like an offseason which was going to take the Tigers back a step, they actually look better to me than they did a year ago. There aren’t many holes to be had defensively, offensively, or pitching wise. Now, the bullpen has been good now, but lets keep an eye on how things progress later in the year, because that was the major Achilles with this team.
The Tigers have heavy bats with the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and Yeonis Cespedes. Then throw in defensive specialist Jose Iglesias, a solid utility player in Rajai Davis, and this is a very strong team. Putting it all together at the right time in the postseason will determine their fate. Notably, how well the bullpen performs is going to probably be the deciding factor.
As far as the Minnesota Twins are concerned, it is the same story with them this team. I don’t expect them to improve on what they did last year, which was a punching bag for the rest of the division in the Central. They should play that role well as the season moves forward. With a lack of any substance defensively or offensive for the Twins they’re going to find it difficult to be a competitive team in 2015. The Twins did get the better of the Tigers yesterday in a 3-2 win to move to 10-11 on the year but there is still a lot of work to be done. The Tigers trot out Shane Greene to the mound to face former Yankee, Phil Hughes.
Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins
Shane Greene (3-1, 3.00 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (0-4, 4.39 ERA)
Shane Green has been a welcome addition to the Tigers addition in the offseason. While Tigers’ fans were stressing about losing Max Scherzer, Greene and the other addition, Alfredo Simon, have done considerably well for the Tigers. Greene, though, is coming off a disastrous start in which he allowed 8 runs. Despite that blemish, Greene had been untouchable in previous starts, and a big reason for why the Tigers were so hot for the first few weeks of the season. That 8 spot skews his ERA up, but his three other starts tell a different story. There he allowed only 1 run over three games and 21 innings pitched. Greene also surrendered just 12 hits during that span. On the road, he has an ERA of 0.00 and 0.38 WHIP in his lone road start. The Twins have been hitting only .218 against right-handed pitching.
Conversely, Phil Hughes has been consistent in his starts, but it hasn’t been enough to garner any excitement. His career with the Yankees was largely marred by disappointment, as he never had a season where his ERA was sub-3.00. Hughes has gotten off to a typical start with a 4.39 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. That is par for the course for him. His career ERA against the Tigers is 4.04, so again, pretty much what you expect from Hughes. I think the Tigers and Greene bounce back today. He had a rough start in his last outing, but I see him neutralizing a below average Twins’ offense this afternoon. The short price on the Tigers makes it all the more attractive.
PICK: TIGERS TO WIN -113