Photo Credit: Keith Allison/Flickr

BALTIMORE ORIOLES (22-14) vs. DETROIT TIGERS (18-18)

Game 1 – Wade Miley (1-1, 2.45 ERA, 43 K) vs. Matthew Boyd (2-3, 3.89 ERA, 29 K)

Tuesday, May 16 @ 7:10 p.m. ET

TV: Fox Sports Detroit | Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians
Apr 16, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (7) walks on the field in the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Although Matthew Boyd has gone at least six innings and allowed three earned runs or less in his last two outings, he is still 0-2 in the month of May. With the Tigers returning home from a nine-game road trip with a 4-5 record, they will need Boyd to jump start them in game one of this series. Surprisingly, this start will be just his second of the season against a non-AL Central division foe, with his first coming last time out against Arizona.

 

Wade Miley was traded to the Orioles last season but it didn’t really work out the way Baltimore hoped. He went 2-5 with a 6.17 ERA during the 2nd half of the year and Baltimore lost to Toronto in the one-game wildcard playoff. Miley has responded with a great start to 2017. He is limiting opposing hitters to a .214 BA through his first seven starts and features a 2.45 ERA. Look past his 1-1 record because Miley has been really good this year, and will be a tough task for the Tigers in game one of this series.

 

Game 2 –  Ubaldo Jimenez (1-1, 6.15 ERA, 24 K) vs. Michael Fulmer (4-1, 2.54 ERA, 42 K)

Wednesday, May 17 @ 7:10 p.m. ET

TV: Fox Sports Detroit | Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

After finishing last season as the AL Rookie of the Year, Michael Fulmer has his eyes set on an even loftier goal; American League Cy Young. He has not only been the ace on the Tigers this season but one of the top pitchers in the entire league. He has limited hitters to a .198 BA through his first seven starts and his WHIP sits at an even 1.00. In Wednesday’s start against Baltimore, Fulmer will be looking for his third-straight seven-plus innings performance and hopes to continue his blazing hot start to the season.

Since joining the Orioles in 2014, Ubaldo Jimenez has been a below-average pitcher who can’t find the stuff that made him a Cy Young contender while with Colorado in 2010. He continues his struggles this season with a 6.15 ERA, which would be 3rd-highest in the AL if he had enough IP to qualify. (33 IP but need 36 IP to qualify). Jimenez has had two quality starts this season (April 19 vs. Red, 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H), including his last start against Washington. The 33-year-old went 7.2 IP and allowed four earned runs, a majority of which came on a three-run home run.

Game 3 –  Dylan Bundy (5-1, 2.26 ERA, 36 K) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (3-2, 6.28 ERA, 22 K)

Thursday, May 18 @ 1:10 p.m. ET

TV: Fox Sports Detroit | Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays
Jun 30, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) walks back to the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Zimmerman continues to struggle in what may be one of the most surprising stories over the last season and a half. All indications were that his 3.40 ERA and above-average command from his Washington Nationals days would translate into success pitching in the AL, but it just hasn’t. Zimmerman can’t seem to put together a quality start to save his life and he ranks 92nd of 97 AL pitchers with a 6.28 ERA this season. It doesn’t get any easier when he takes the mound for Thursday’s matinee against a tough Orioles team.

 

If Michael Fulmer is driving towards those Cy Young aspirations, then Dylan Bundy is right there in the passenger seat. The 4th overall pick in the 2011 draft, Bundy has been every bit the Orioles ace and more this season. He has recorded eight consecutive quality starts to begin the 2017 campaign, and is top ten in the AL in WHIP and innings pitched. He is just 24 years old so the Orioles are very excited about him performing so well in just his second full MLB season.

PREDICTION

Overall, the Baltimore Orioles are a very good baseball team. They don’t dominate any hitting or pitching category, but they are consistent and make few mistakes in the field. Combine that with two tough pitching matchups this series for the Tigers, and I don’t see how Baltimore doesn’t leave Detroit winning at least two or three.

I believe Fulmer gets a win in game two over Ubaldo and continues his scorching hot May, but Miley and Bundy are both having great years and can limit the Tigers offensively. Until Jordan Zimmerman can prove he can get out of the 5th inning, it’s hard to bet on him to carry the Tigers to a win.

So far on the season, the Detroit Sports Nation Tigers team is 5-6 on our series predictions.