MLB: Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays
Apr 19, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias (1) throws the ball to first base to end the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT TIGERS (8-7) vs. MINNESOTA TWINS (7-8)

Game 1 – Justin Verlander (1-1, 5.71 ERA, 18K) vs. Hector Santiago (1-1, 1.47 ERA, 11K)

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians
Apr 15, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander looks at the ball after giving up a home run to Cleveland Indians designated hitter Carlos Santana (not pictured) during the second inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

 

Friday, April 21 @ 8:10 p.m. ET

The Tigers needs a quality start from their ace pitcher. Verlander was terrific on Opening Day, solid in his second start, and was rocked in his third game of the year. He will face a red hot Hector Santiago on the mound for Minnesota.

It wouldn’t surprise in the least if JV came out with something to prove in this first game. After having the Cy Young Award stolen from him last season, this year is kind of a vengeance tour for the Tigers ace. Look for him to get back on the horse tonight.

Game 2 – Matt Boyd (2-1, 3.77 ERA, 11K) vs. Adalberto Mejia (0-1, 4.05 ERA, 4K)

Sep 25, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matt Boyd (48) pitches in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday, April 22 @ 2:10 p.m. ET

Left-hander Matt Boyd is back out in Game 2 of the series. Boyd has had some success against the Twins this year so far. Boyd has been good in his last two starts, and there is no reason for that trend not to continue.

Mejia will provide some strong opposition as he is rounding into form after a mediocre start to the season.

Game 3 – Michael Fulmer (1-1, 3.00 ERA, 16K) vs. Kyle Gibson (0-2, 6.91 ERA, 9K)

Sunday, April 23 @ 2:10 p.m. ET

Aug 14, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Michael Fulmer (32) reacts to winning a complete game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Detroit Tigers won 7-0. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a good opportunity to support the strong pitching of sophomore Michael Fulmer. After an uncharacteristic start against the Rays, this will be a game where, again, the ship gets put back on course for Fulmer.

My expectations are high for the offense in this game. Gibson is vulnerable to the long ball this season and that’s just what the doctor ordered.

 

 

PREDICTION

Fans are restless with the performance of the team thus far. After a hot start, the Tigers have regressed to the mean. Most people find fault with the bullpen, but, there is plenty of blame to be shared. For instance, according to ESPN, Detroit has the second lowest run differential in the MLB at -21. Only the 7-10 San Diego Padres are worse at -28. All this despite the emergence of Miguel Cabrera on offense.

The simple fact is, the Tigers need to beat the teams they are supposed to beat. The mighty Twins of Minnesota are in that category. Detroit will right the ship and win 2 of 3 this weekend.

So far on the season, the Detroit Sports Nation Tigers team is 1-3 on our series predictions. 

 

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