The Detroit Tigers travel to Cleveland for the first time this season to take on the Guardians in a three-game weekend series.
The Detroit Tigers head to Cleveland this weekend, a place where they have struggled mightily in recent years. The Tigers have not won the season series against Cleveland since 2015. The Guardians are 77-27 against Detroit in that timeframe.
This will, of course, be the first time the two teams have played since Cleveland’s name change. Tigers fans can only hope that it will serve as a good luck charm for them.
The Guardians were thought of to be a weak team offensively coming into the season, but so far that hasn’t been the case. The team is currently second in the American League in team batting average, fifth in OPS, and fourth in runs scored. This is largely thanks to breakout seasons from infielders Owen Miller and Andres Gimenez, as well as rookie outfielder Steven Kwan. Josh Naylor was having a fantastic season as well before recently being placed on the 10-day IL.
Their pitching, once thought of as a strength of their organization, has struggled a bit to start the season. The team is currently 13th in the AL in team ERA and 14th in strikeouts. Starting pitcher Aaron Civale, who will start Friday’s game, has particularly struggled, with an ERA of 9.85 and a WHIP of 1.74.
After a hot start, the Guardians have been playing slightly sub-.500 ball over the past 20 games. But if history is any indication, they’ll be pretty motivated seeing that old English D on the opposing team’s uniform.
With all that being said, here are three things to watch out for in this weekend division series.