Detroit Tigers players have so far led the team to a 46-43 record. The Tigers will soon kick off the second half. Here’s a look at what’s ahead for Detroit in the second half.
Detroit Tigers baseball will return to stadiums and television screens on Friday as the team opens a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. The home set will kick off what will hopefully be a successful second half.
The Tigers’ schedule is heavy on division games, but there are a number of out of division and interleague series worked in. Detroit won’t get a crack at Cleveland, who the Tigers are 1-11 against this season, until mid-September.
Until then, Detroit will work through what is a largely manageable schedule. As it stands, the Tigers are only three games above .500. However, Detroit is 13 games above the .500 mark against teams not from Northeast Ohio.
The Tigers will start things off with 10 division games. If all goes well, Detroit could put some key distance between themselves and the teams looking up at them in the standings. Kansas City and Minnesota will both travel to the Motor City before Brad Ausmus’ club travels to Chicago for four games.
Things get tricky after that as Detroit faces three potential playoff teams in the following four series. A three-game matchup with the Red Sox begins on July 25th. The Sox’ projected starter for the last game of the series? That would be former Tiger David Price. Detroit will also get a look at knuckleballer and All-Star Steven Wright.
The Tigers could be getting some reinforcements at this point. Not only is the trade deadline just days away, but J.D. Martinez could be back in the lineup.
After the Boston series, Detroit returns home for nine games that include a trio of games against both the Astros and Mets. It’s possible Michael Fulmer could match up with the player he was traded for, current New York star Yoenis Cespedes.
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The Tigers will then head west to do battle with two of the American League Wests’ top three teams in the Mariners and the Rangers. Detroit is undefeated in four contests against the Mariners, which could aid the Tigers’ playoff hopes seeing as Seattle is just a game back of Ausmus’ team in the Wild Card standings.
Following seven home games versus the Royals and Red Sox, the Tigers will face two teams struggling in the standings. The Twins will play host to Detroit before the Tigers return home for a three-game set with the Angels. Another three games against the White Sox rounds out the month of August.
Coming down the stretch, the month of September could pay dividends, while also being a struggle for the Tigers.
Detroit draws seven games against the Twins, as well as three more contests with the White Sox. Also on the docket is three games against the Atlanta Braves to finish the season. Atlanta currently posted the fewest wins in the National League, not to mention a -107 run differential. The Braves could potentially have traded away key contributors like Arodys Vizcaino, Jim Johnson and Julio Teheran.
That’s the good news. The (potentially) bad news is that the Tigers will play Cleveland seven times. If Detroit still has trouble claiming victories against their division rivals, this could be problematic. However, if the team can at least win three or four games, they’ll be in good shape.
September also brings home series against the Orioles and Royals, as well as one last trip to Kansas City at the beginning of the month.
If all goes to plan, the Tigers will be celebrating a playoff berth following that last road trip to Atlanta. Additionally, if Detroit can figure out how to win against Cleveland on a consistent basis, the Tigers could make some serious strides in the race for the division.