Tigers-White Sox series is a must-sweep for Detroit as trade deadline looms

Detroit Tigers v Houston Astros
Detroit Tigers v Houston Astros / Tim Warner/GettyImages

The Detroit Tigers have been playing some bad baseball over the past few weeks. Their most recent series loss came at the hands of the Braves, but starting on June 7 they dropped three straight series to the Brewers, Nationals, and Astros — getting swept in Atlanta was just an awful cherry on top of a rotten sundae. They were also shut out three times and were outscored by the Braves 2-11 across the series.

After a day off on Thursday, the Tigers head into a three-game set against the White Sox, who they swept in their first series of the season. The White Sox have the worst record in baseball by far and would be on an unfathomable 10-series losing streak if it weren't for the one they split against the Red Sox.

There couldn't be a better time for the Tigers to kick a division rival while they're down, and the White Sox are very down. But the Tigers are in no great position themselves, and they seem to be barreling toward a big sale at the trade deadline if they can't get things together very quickly. If the Tigers can sweep the Sox (not just beat them in this series — sweep) they would raise their record to .481, get some pep into their players' step, and maybe avoid dismantling the team too much at the deadline.

Tigers series vs. White Sox is do-or-die for Detroit with trade deadline threatening a huge sale

Jack Flaherty has been a popular name in terms of potential trade chips for the Tigers, and as the team's record has worsened over this stretch, it's becoming even more of an inevitability that he'll leave Detroit for the back end of the season. Although he has been refreshingly good for the team, that could be a player fans are willing to let walk. It's hard to even fathom who else the Tigers might be willing to give up, though, if the team continues to slide.

Tarik Skubal and Riley Greene are bound to be popular names the Tigers will be getting calls for, and although fans would like to see Detroit hang onto them with an iron grip, they're two very powerful potential pieces that the Tigers could yield in dire straits.

But we have to hope it won't get to that point. Even if it requires three walk-offs in extras, the Tigers need to pull themselves together and give fans a glimmer of hope before the deadline really threatens the departure of some fan favorites.