The Detroit Tigers get ready to welcome the Los Angeles Angels to Comerica Park for a three-game series beginning tonight.
With both teams below .500, this mid-week series in Detroit still presents some intriguing storylines, most notably the chance for Angels first baseman and DH Albert Pujols to make history (alongside former Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus making his not-so-triumphant return to Comerica Park).
On Saturday against Houston, Pujols recorded career RBI number 1,999, putting him just one away from cementing himself as one of the all-time greats to ever play the game. It now is very possible that Comerica Park could be the venue where Pujols joins the ranks of Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, and Cap Anson in the prestigious 2,000 RBI Club.
Speaking of Comerica Park, it is a venue that has been friendly to Pujols throughout his legendary career. The 39-year-old has faced the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park 30 times in his career and has a .361 batting average at the stadium, the third highest of any park where he has played at least 20 games. Needing just one RBI to make history, those have come somewhat easy to Pujols at Comerica where he has 23 RBIs in just 30 games at the stadium.
One factor that plays in Pujols favor is that two of the three starting pitchers the righty could face in the series against Detroit are lefties. So far in 2019, Pujols is hitting .257 against left-handers. Luckily for the Tigers, however, the two lefties Pujols will face are having solid seasons.
Daniel Norris is set to take the mound for the Detroit Tigers tonight. As a starter this year, Norris is 1-0 in three starts with a 3.00 ERA. Matt Boyd is scheduled to start Wednesday night’s contest and has been hot in 2019. The lefty is 3-2 with a 3.05 ERA and 57 strikeouts in seven starts on the young season.
Norris and Boyd will have to up their games even more if they want to avoid being the man who lets Albert Pujols make history. The odds seem stacked against Detroit given Pujols track records both at Comerica Park and against lefty pitching, so everyone must be sure to step up in order to prevent this Tigers team from ending up on the wrong side of history.