Detroit Tigers Schedule: Previewing the Rest of May
By Ben Rosener
Tampa Bay Rays
Friday’s opener against the Tampa Bay Rays brings a different challenge for the Tigers after sweeping the Twins. While Tampa is sitting at .500, the Rays are always a tough draw.
The American League East club, as per usual, features a solid pitching staff. Jake Odorizzi and former Tiger Drew Smyly both sport ERAs under 4.00, while Chris Archer and Matt Moore are much better than their relatively high ERAs (4.38 and 5.09 respectively) would indicate.
The quality pitching also carries over to the bullpen, where closer Alex Colome (1.77 FIP and 24 strikeouts in 17.1 IP) headline a solid group. In addition to Colome, swingman Erasmo Ramirez has also been excellent. The former Mariner owns a 1.89 ERA in 33.1 innings pitched. So far this season, the righty has finished four games and started one in 17 appearances.
Also available to pitch out of the bullpen are Enny Romero (2.93 ERA), Steve Geltz (4.30 ERA), Xavier Cedeno (3.86 ERA) and Ryan Webb (3.75 ERA).
If Detroit can put some runs up against the manager Kevin Cash’s pitching staff, the Tigers could be in a position to extend the team’s four-game winning streak.
Tampa Bay fields one of the league’s worst offenses. The Rays have quality players like Evan Longoria, Corey Dickerson and Steve Pearce, it’s just that the team hasn’t been able to put it all together.
Of the team’s regulars, four are hitting under .200, and only one player has an on-base percentage over .320—currently injured second baseman Logan Forsythe. By comparison, Detroit has five players with on-base percentages over .340. That number could be six if Cameron Maybin had been healthy from Opening Day onwards.
Detroit will face Matt Andriese, Drew Smyly and Chris Archer. Anibal Sanchez, Michael Fulmer and Jordan Zimmermann will start for the Tigers.