Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers vs. Houston Astros: Game Preview

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Aug 16, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (left) and Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 16, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (left) and Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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This series could be the one that really shows what the Detroit Tigers are made of in 2016. After nine games of quality baseball with the fundamentals covered (in general), the Tigers are facing the lights-out Dallas Keuchel (Mr. Cy Young 2015) and the young Carlos Correa (Mr. Rookie of the Year 2015), and the fiesty Jose Altuve (Mr. Ian Kinsler‘s Nemesis).

Detroit Tigers
Aug 16, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros base runner Carlos Correa (right) is forced out at second base by Detroit Tigers infielder Ian Kinsler in the second inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

While nothing is ever certain except that a ball game will be played, it should be a ball game worth watching.

The party always gets started when Miguel Cabrera is defending first base. Since Altuve currently has an OPS of 1.025, it is safe to say that he and Miggy will meet up on at first. This is where the antics begin. Last year, the Venezuleans took turns trying to untuck each other’s shirts. I, for one, am looking forward to what the two from Maracay do to each other tonight and through the rest of the series.

I am also excited to see what kind of hits the Tigers get off of Keuchel. Surprisingly, many of the current Tigers have had success batting against Keuchel and his impressive beard. For example, Victor Martinez has faced him nine times, earning four hits and a home run. Andrew Romine has gone two for three against him. Only a few batters, J.D. Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, and Justin Upton have batting averages below .333 against him.

The Tigers are currently 6-2, while the Astros are 3-7. Keuchel is the ace of the team and he went 15-0 last year at home. Conversely, the two Tigers’ losses have come at the hands of Justin Verlander and tonight’s pitcher Mike Pelfrey – both of those losses were at home. This will be Pelfrey’s first road game, so maybe things will go better. And, continuing a 15-0 record is difficult to do – so it is soon time for Keuchel to give one up at Minute Maid Park.

Along with the odds of Altuve getting on base, the odds are quite good that Carlos Correa will do something amazing. Sports Illustrated has named Correa a top pick for Fantasy Baseball rosters because he (and Altuve) are Astros who repeatedly show up to win. Correa already has three home runs and his .308 batting average is nothing to laugh at.

Detroit TIgers
Aug 15, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Victor Martinez (41) hits an RBI double during the eleventh inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

When it comes to the Tigers, expect the regulars to perform well. Kinsler continues to play like he is 26 years old. Upton is primed and ready for action. Miggy is due to break out of his slump any day now. And, V-Mart still needs those three RBIs to reach 1000. Since several back-ups played yesterday, it is safe to expect Jarrod Saltalamacchia to be behind the dish tonight and we all know what he did against the Pirates on Wednesday.

Next: Should the Tigers have kept Robbie Ray?

The only issue facing the Tigers in this series is today’s starting pitcher and the potential replacements in the last inning. Let’s hope that the bats continue to swing and the pitches are strikes. Go, Tigers!

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