After an ugly performance last night against the Minnesota Twins, the Tigers aren’t making things any easier on themselves. The Twins have happily been becoming a thorn in the side of the rest of their American League Central rivals in September. With the Twins out of the postseason picture, it’s pretty much all they can do at this point. They haven’t been playing the best baseball, but they’ve been able to take a few games away from the Royals, Indians, and the Tigers in their recent series.
They beat the Royals for a game, then the Indians, and now they have a win against the Tigers. All three are jockeying for position and would have liked the Twins to play dead in these spots. The Twins can take two from the Tigers with a win tonight. Minnesota will have a glorious opportunity against Anibal Sanchez of the Tigers. However, they do not get much help on the hump themselves, with the Twins handing the ball over to the struggling Tyler Duffey.
Tigers’ pitching got destroyed last night and the offense came up flat in an 8-1 loss. Just like the Blue Jays, it was an effortless try in another crucial game for both ball clubs. Between the Tigers and Jays, the offenses combined for 3 points. With names like Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacian littering the lineups, it’s a little underwhelming for that under these circumstances. It would be a huge blow to the Tigers’ chances if they drop two games in a row to a team out of postseason contention. You don’t win these games, you don’t deserve to play in October.
Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers
Tyler Duffey (8-11, 6.13 ERA) vs Anibal Sanchez (7-13, 5.69 ERA)
Sanchez has been relatively useless for the Tigers this season, but he has come alive in a few outings. It’s an accomplishment in itself that he’s still pitching in the starting rotation and his arm hasn’t completely ran out of gas. The Tigers don’t expect him to go out and allow no runs or 1. Sanchez comes with a warning label in 2016: handle with care. The Tigers are well-aware that his night could turn into a disaster, but with an offense packed with so much firepower, the idea is for them to pick up the slack. Following a night where they only scored 1 run, an offensive onslaught would be nice to get them back on track. The offense is built to do just that, but it’s been like pulling teeth with them at times.
Duffey has gotten rattled lately, posting a 10.03 ERA and 1.80 WHIP in his last three starts. It brings his season long ERA to 6.13. The Twins hope they see signs of improvements from him next spring, or they’ll have a suitable replacement by that time. Because let’s face it, the Twins aren’t going to accomplish any kind of turnaround with Duffey pitching like this in their starting rotation. Sanchez has allowed 11 runs in his last three starts for an ERA of 4.60. He has stabilized a bit lately, but it’s a safe bet to assume that Sanchez will be okay or really bad. The Tigers’ bats should come out to play tonight against Duffey to help Sanchez. There should be some runs tonight in Detroit.
PICK: OVER 9.5 RUNS (-110)