Series Preview: Detroit Tigers

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

The Rays will take on the Detroit Tigers who come to town scuffling after losing 3 in row to the Los Angeles Angels and finishing a 10 game home stand with a 4-6 record.

The Tampa Bay Rays (41-38) will take on the Detroit Tigers (42-35) in a three game weekend series at Tropicana Field. The Tigers enter this weekend scuffling after a 4-6 home stand which concluded with a three game sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels.

The pitching matchups will be Alex Colome (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs Max Scherzer (11-0, 3.05 ERA) on Friday at 7:10 p.m., Chris Archer (2-3, 4.21 ERA) vs Justin Verlander (8-5, 3.90 ERA) on Saturday night at 7:15 p.m., and Jeremy Hellickson (6-3, 5.11 ERA) vs Rick Porcello (4-5, 5.27 ERA) on Sunday afternoon at 1:40 p.m.

The Rays have been dominated by the Detroit Tigers over the past several seasons.Since 2010 the Rays have a record of 4-13 and the Tigers pitching staff has held the Rays to 4 earned runs or less in 15 consecutive games.

Tigers Offense Leads The Way

As expected the Tigers offense has been one of the best in baseball ranking 2nd in the American League behind the Boston Red Sox at 5.02 runs per game and they lead the AL in batting average (.283), and on-base% (.351).

Team R AVG OBP SLG OPS wOBA wRC+ HR
Red Sox 410 0.274 0.348 0.445 0.793 0.343 113 85
Tigers 385 0.283 0.351 0.431 0.783 0.341 114 80
Orioles 384 0.270 0.322 0.452 0.773 0.333 107 108
Athletics 374 0.249 0.327 0.403 0.731 0.319 103 83
Rays 368 0.258 0.327 0.419 0.747 0.326 110 90
Angels 365 0.267 0.331 0.420 0.751 0.326 109 83
Indians 357 0.253 0.326 0.418 0.744 0.324 107 87
Blue Jays 354 0.250 0.313 0.420 0.733 0.319 100 100
Rangers 342 0.263 0.322 0.425 0.747 0.325 98 94
Twins 309 0.248 0.321 0.388 0.709 0.312 96 68
Astros 305 0.239 0.296 0.385 0.681 0.297 87 78
Yankees 302 0.240 0.303 0.383 0.686 0.299 85 80
Royals 292 0.258 0.311 0.370 0.682 0.298 86 42
Mariners 283 0.236 0.300 0.380 0.680 0.299 93 88
White Sox 277 0.242 0.295 0.375 0.669 0.292 77 72

Miguel Cabrera & The Tiger Offense

The Tigers offense is once again led by Miguel Cabrera who is following up his MVP Triple Crown season with another monster season. Not even at the midway point of the 2013 season and he has a slash line of .370/.460/.657 with 111 hits including 22 home runs, 78 RBI, and 59 runs scored. Joe Maddon has made it a point to not allow Cabrera to be the guy that beat the Rays. In 2012 he intentionally walked him twice in key situations and has already matched the total of intentional walks in 2013.

Name PA AVG OBP SLG OPS BABIP wOBA wRC+
Miguel Cabrera 352 0.370 0.460 0.657 1.117 0.396 0.468 201
Jhonny Peralta 299 0.320 0.379 0.476 0.855 0.397 0.370 134
Prince Fielder 342 0.281 0.377 0.473 0.850 0.313 0.366 131
Austin Jackson 217 0.306 0.380 0.409 0.789 0.368 0.350 120
Torii Hunter 312 0.307 0.352 0.425 0.777 0.357 0.340 113
Omar Infante 285 0.295 0.326 0.414 0.740 0.311 0.321 100
Don Kelly 108 0.228 0.333 0.380 0.714 0.234 0.318 98
Brayan Pena 117 0.297 0.319 0.387 0.706 0.316 0.309 92
Andy Dirks 249 0.254 0.310 0.360 0.670 0.284 0.297 84
Victor Martinez 314 0.227 0.283 0.337 0.620 0.233 0.272 67
Alex Avila 188 0.172 0.271 0.288 0.560 0.225 0.256 55

The Bullpen

The Tigers bullpen has been their Achilles heel through most of the season. Early on in the season they had to battle through closer issues finally re-signing Jose Valverde who was effective in his first handful of appearances before imploding to the point of being designated for assignment. Their bullpen is shielded by their starting pitchers who deliver a lot of innings resulting in a bullpen with the third fewest innings in the league. The Tigers offense puts up enough runs that the pen isn't called upon in tight games. They have only 16 saves on the season, 9 blown saves, and have a W-L record of 6-13.

The bullpen currently consists of closer Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke (LH), Drew Smyly (LH), Al Alburquerque, Luke Putkonen, Evan Reed, and former Rays farmhand Darin Downs (LH).

Name HR/9 K% BB% ERA FIP IP TBF
Joaquin Benoit 0.57 30.3% 7.4% 2.01 2.38 31.1 122
Drew Smyly 0.19 24.7% 7.4% 2.27 2.29 47.2 190
Darin Downs 0.90 26.8% 7.1% 4.80 3.18 30.0 127
Phil Coke 0.39 22.7% 10.3% 5.87 3 23.0 97
Al Alburquerque 0.00 34.9% 19.3% 2.60 2.64 17.1 83
Luke Putkonen 0.64 19.0% 6.9% 1.93 3.26 14.0 58
Evan Reed 0.87 17.8% 4.4% 2.61 3.34 10.1 45

The Rays will face Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Rick Porcello.

Max Scherzer

Scherzer has been absolutely dominant in compiling an 11-0 record. He leads the AL in wins with 11, is second in strike out rate at 31% while having a low walk rate of 6.1%. He last faced the Boston Red Sox on June 22nd and held them to 2R/ER on 6 hits in 7 innings of work. He struck out 6 Red Sox to extend his streak of games with at least 6 strike out to 16 in a row to start a season. He is now chasing the AL record of 29 staright games held by Pedro Martinez in 2000. He has been given the highest run support of any pitcher in the AL this year at 6.33 runs per start.

He faced the Rays on June 6th and went 7 innings allowing 1R/ER on 4 hits striking out 9 while walking 2. He hasn't given up more than 3ER in a start since May 10th against the Cleveland Indians a game in which the Tigers won 10-4.

Justin Verlander

By Verlander standards the 2013 season has been a struggle. Over his last 8 starts he has a 6.11 ERA and has a record of 4-2. He has worked 45.2 innings, allowed 55 hits, struck out 53, walked 17, and allowed 6 home runs. In seasons past when he was on the mound a start of 6 innings was more was all but guaranteed as he delivered 63 such starts in a row. In 2013 he has failed to go 6 innings in 6 of his 16 starts. Despite his struggles he still ranks 4th in the major leagues with a strike out rate of 10.21 K/9.

His last start was against the Boston Red Sox on June 23rd and he went 5 innings allowing 4R/ER on 7 hits striking out 4 and walking 3.

Rick Porcello

Porcello numbers look bad with a record of 4-5 with an ERA of 5.27 but he has a much lower FIP of 3.65. He has a strike rate of 7.28 K/9 and a walk rate of only 1.68 BB/9. He's given up 10 home runs in 80.1 innings of work and has a strand rate of only 61.4%. His last start came June 25th against the Los Angeles Angels and he allowed 7R/ER in 4.1 innings of work on 10 hits whiles striking out 2 and walking 2.

He has difficulty pitching out of the set. With the bases empty he has held the opposition to an OPS of .594 with a slash line of .231/.252/.341 but with men on base the OPS jumps to .936 with a slash line of .345/.400/.536. With runners in scoring position it's even worse as the opposition has a OPS of 1.115 with a slash line of .397/.453/.662.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker