The Detroit Tigers get set to take on the White Sox for the first time this season
The Detroit Tigers are coming off a roadtrip in which they went 3-3 against two of the worst teams in baseball in the Nationals and Royals. Now they return to Comerica Park for an interesting homestand against the Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers.
The Tigers finally found a little bit of success with runners in scoring position last night against KC, going 3-for-10, including a three-run pinch-hit home run by Zack Short. Jonathan Schoop also picked up his first two RBIs of the season.
It all led to a 6-4 victory last night. Tonight, they begin a four-game set with the South Siders, who have had an interesting season so far to say the least. What's been going on down there?
Opponent breakdown: Chicago White Sox
The White Sox got off to a disastrous start. They were 8-21 at the end of April and looked like they were in freefall. There was even talk of firing GM Rick Hahn. Lately, things haven't been quite as bad for them.
They are 13-9 in May and have won seven of their last nine games. One thing that has helped them this month is they've gotten healthier. Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson have both returned from injury, which has given a huge jolt to their lineup. They are still missing OF/DH Eloy Jimenez, who just can't seem to stay on the field. He's an outstanding hitter when healthy.
However, they've gotten contributions from other sources such as Jake Burger and Luis Robert, who has been on a tear this month after a slow start to the season. The Tigers will have to be awfully careful when pitching to him.
Overall, the Sox rank 22nd in the league in runs per game, 26th in OPS, and 29th in walks. It's been a struggle for them offensively so far this year. They don't strike out a ton and they hit for a decent amount of power, but it hasn't equated to a lot of runs scored.
The pitching has not been much better. They have the sixth-worst team ERA, seventh-worst FIP, third-most home runs allowed, and third-most walks allowed. However, they do rank fourth in the league in strikeouts.
Dylan Cease was their breakout ace last season, but he hasn't had the same success so far in 2023. He has 4.60 ERA and is walking almost four batters per nine innings. The Tigers will see him on Sunday.
Lucas Giolito has been their best SP this season, posting a 3.62 ERA in 59.2 IP. He's kept the walks down, and it has paid off for him so far. The Tigers will see him tonight.
Most of their pitching struggles have come from their relievers. They have the second-highest bullpen ERA in the league behind Oakland.
With Liam Hendricks recovering from cancer, the White Sox have used a bit of closer-by-committee to mixed results. Kendall Graveman has been solid, but Reynaldo Lopez has been pretty bad. He's allowed six home runs in 20.1 IP.
They've DFA'd a couple of arms in Jose Ruiz and Jake Diekman, and their replacements have been admirable. Gregory Santos in particular has been great for the Sox so far this year.
The Tigers have an opportunity to score some runs this series with the lack of premiere pitching on this White Sox team. This will be a good test for them.
Thursday: RHP Lucas Giolito (3-3, 3.62 ERA) vs. RHP Alex Faedo (0-2, 4.60 ERA)
Friday: RHP Lance Lynn (3-5, 6.28 ERA) vs. LHP Joey Wentz (1-4, 7.45 ERA)
Saturday: TBA vs. RHP Michael Lorenzen (2-2, 4.08 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Dylan Cease (3-3, 4.60 ERA) vs. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (4-4, 2.19 ERA)