After being swept in a quick two-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies in the Motor City, the Detroit Tigers are set to round out July and begin August on the road against a string of AL West foes.
The trade deadline is officially less than a week away, and with that, the Detroit Tigers head out west and take on two AL West opponents in the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Angels leading up to July 31st. These series will take the team right up to the deadline and give scouts one last chance to take a look at the potential trade pieces that the Tigers possess.
First, the Detroit Tigers take on the Mariners in a four-game series in Seattle in a matchup of two struggling clubs looking to sell at the upcoming deadline. Both teams have losing records in their past ten games and will be looking to better their standing as bottom dwellers in their respective divisions.
The teams have not announced their starters for Friday’s game, but Daniel Norris, Tyler Alexander, and Matthew Boyd take the mound for the Tigers in the other three games. These men sport 5.02, 2.25 and 4.07 ERA respectively.
Norris has struggled this year as his ERA would suggest, but Alexander has pitched well in his first two appearances in the major leagues. Alexander has only struck out five batters but so far batters have only hit .186 against the righty. As for Boyd, every outing of his is important because the team is actively shopping him and is looking to maximize the haul they can get in return for the coveted left-hander.
The Mariners have not announced starters for game one or game two of the series, but Friday and Saturday, Detroit must face rookie Yusei Kikuchi (4-7, 5.37 ERA) and Marco Gonzales (11-8, 4.37 ERA). The series is winnable as the Tigers aren’t facing any top-level pitching this weekend, and if the offense can show up, the team should be able to walk away from the series with at least a split.
After Seattle, Detroit travels down the coast to face off against the LA Angels. The Angels are faring much better on the season and especially as of late. Los Angeles is 53-49 and 7-3 in their past 10 games. In large part to the scorching hot last month that Mike Trout has had. Trout is slashing .322/.419/.765 with 15 HRs and 36 RBI in his past 30 games.
For Detroit, Nicholas Castellanos has been the standout bat since coming back from the All-Star break. Castellanos is hitting .304/.347/.587 and while he has not been producing the power numbers (2 HRs and 4 RBI), he has been productive at the plate nonetheless.
The important thing for Detroit Tigers fans is to keep their eyes on Twitter as the trade talks heat up over the next few days. After the trade deadline, the Tigers begin August and finish up the road trip with a three-game series against the Rangers in Texas. Hopefully, we will see a fresh crop of young guys coming into the farm system that we can get excited about, and if everything plays out well they will pick up a couple wins on the road trip.