Detroit Tigers news: Tarik Skubal makes strong showing in power rankings

Tarik Skubal is living up to the hype as one of the best pitchers in the American League
Detroit Tigers pitcher Tarik Skubal (29) pitches the first pitch to Oakland Athletics second base
Detroit Tigers pitcher Tarik Skubal (29) pitches the first pitch to Oakland Athletics second base / Mandi Wright / USA TODAY NETWORK

It's good to have an ace again. Tarik Skubal has been the face of the Detroit Tigers pitching staff, and he entered the 2024 season with Cy Young buzz around him.

He threw a scoreless six innings on Opening Day against the White Sox but struggled a bit near the end of his start against the A's, giving up two runs in the sixth and two runs in the seventh before being pulled with just one out in the inning. The Tigers won both games.

Despite the slip, Skubal moved into the top five in's second starting pitcher power rankings, released on Wednesday. He slotted in as the second-ranked AL pitcher, behind Baltimore's Corbin Burnes. wrote:

"A lot of times, offseason hype can give way to the hard reality of the regular season. That has not been the case so far for Skubal, who got plenty of buzz on the heels of a quietly spectacular second half in 2023. The lefty is delivering in ‘24, with opponents posting a .514 OPS across his first two starts."

Skubal has an ERA of 2.92, WHIP of 0.73, and 15 strikeouts in 12-1/3 innings.

Tarik Skubal gets the ball today vs the Twins

Skubal will get a chance to defend his high-ranking when he makes his third start of the season today, with the Minnesota Twins in Detroit for an early important four-game series.

It won't be an easy game for the Tigers' offense, though, as's No. 6 ranked pitcher, Pablo Lopez, will get the start for the Twins. The left-hander has put up a 2.84 ERA with nine strikeouts in 12-2/3 innings and a WHIP of just 0.87. He, too, gave up four runs (three earned) his last start.

One thing Tigers fans will want to keep an eye on is Skubal's velocity and endurance. In his last start, he saw a (slightly) concerning velocity dip beginning around the sixth inning. It was a cooler day in Detroit, with temperatures in the 40s and snow flurries at times, so that might be to blame.

The Tigers and Twins are set to take the field at 1 p.m. at Comerica Park. That saiid, the weather isn't looking too great, with a high coverage of rain in the forecast all afternoon.