Detroit Tigers: Three Questions Heading Into Red Sox Series

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JULY 04: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers hits a home run against the Chicago White Sox during the seventh inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 04, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JULY 04: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers hits a home run against the Chicago White Sox during the seventh inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 04, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Tigers are set to begin a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox this weekend. 

The season has not been kind to the Detroit Tigers, who enter the series with a record of 28-54. Even with their disappointing performance this season, Detroit is currently 4th in the AL Central with only Kansas City below them. The Tigers are coming off of a series against the White Sox where they won one of three games and will be looking to build off their much-needed Independence Day win coming into the series with Boston.

Boston’s title defense has been far from ideal this season. To start their campaign, they won only two of their first ten games. Since then, Boston has been able to pick up steam and currently hold a 46-41 record. Although their year has been reasonably successful, Boston finds themselves 3rd in the extremely competitive AL East and 2.5 games out of the Wild Card. Boston has just come out of a series against Toronto where they took two games out of three.

Even with Detroit’s struggles, They have beaten Boston in both matchups they’ve faced them this year. Many fans are unsure what this next series will develop into. At this point, fans have a lot more question than answers. One thing is sure; this series will answer a few of them.

1. How Will the Detroit Tigers’ offense produce Without JaCoby Jones?

On July 4th, JaCoby Jones was placed on the 10-day injured list because of a lower-back strain. The injury doesn’t seem dangerous, but the Detroit Tigers will severely miss his performance on the field.  He started the year slow but has consistently improved throughout the season. Over the last 30 days, Jones has averaged .260 along with three home runs and 8 RBIs. With Jones out, the Tigers called up left fielder Victor Reyes from the Toledo Mud Hens.

The Tigers’ first two games without Jacoby were both competitive. In the first game without Jones, they were competing but ultimately fell in extra innings against the White Sox 9-6. Their second game ended in an 11-5 win for Detroit where the offense smothered Chicago with 12 hits and 3 Tiger home runs.

Fans have rarely seen such offensive production from the Tigers and will hope to see it continue against the Red Sox. Without Jones, it may prove to be wishful thinking.

2. Can the Detroit Tigers handle Boston’s Pitching Staff?

Detroit has had a hard getting runs to cross the plate and can only seem to muster 3.48 runs a game. Heading into the series against the Red Sox could prove difficult when you look at who is starting on the mound. Boston starts the series with Eduardo Rodriguez, who boasts an 8-4 record on the year averaging six strikeouts a game.

Next game former Detroit Tiger Rick Porcello is at the mound. Then finally, another former Tiger veteran David Price, who is having a very productive year with a 3.33 ERA while averaging over one strikeout an inning.

All three of these men could cause Detroit fits in the upcoming games, but it all depends on what the Tigers can make of what is thrown at them.

3. Can the Detroit Tigers capitalize on adding trade value?

It’s now July, which means the trade deadline is less than a month away, and also means it’s time to speculate even more about possible trade possibilities. The Tigers are going nowhere fast and are looking at another high draft pick season. However, this season the Tigers do have some players that have garnered interest from other competing teams around the league.

Both Shane Greene and Matthew Boyd have been at the tops of fan’s trade radars and rightfully so. Both players have played high-quality seasons with the Tigers — especially Greene whose play has gifted him an AL All-Star Selection. Since Detroit is stuck in no man’s land, they may look to trade for talented prospects who can help aid in their rebuild.

For them to gain the best package possible, Detroit needs to be able to take advantage of opportunities to show their assets skills as much as possible. For example, during Thursday’s game against the Whtie Sox, Boyd fired off 13 K’s. Detroit has to put Greene in scenarios where he can continue to get saves to bolster his repertoire. For that to happen, however, Detroit needs to start putting themselves in positions to win.

With the trade deadline around the corner, each game is another chance to get the franchise on the right track, and the series against Boston is as crucial as any other.

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First pitch of the series is set for Friday at 7:10 pm from Comerica Park.