On Deck: Detroit Tigers (23-23) @ Oakland Athletics (20-28)

Despite losing their most recent game against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Detroit Tigers still won the series and have won eight of their last ten games. While the Tigers remain at 4th place in the AL Central, they sit only 3.0 games back of the division-leading Chicago White Sox, and with it not even being June yet, Detroit is trending in the right direction.

While a lot has gone into the Tigers recent run of success, a lot of it falls on the turnaround of Miguel Cabrera. After a slow start, Cabrera has been on fire the past two weeks, compiling 7 HRs and 17 RBIs over the past 15 games. Along with the former MVP, Cameron Maybin’s introduction into the lineup has been nothing short of spectacular. Over his nine games this season, Maybin is hitting at a .545 clip with 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 4 SBs and 9 runs scored. The offense will need to continue to perform at a high level as the Tigers travel to Oakland. While Detroit won’t be facing the greatest pitchers in the world, a young Michael Fulmer and a struggling Mike Pelfrey will be on the mound for the Tigers, meaning run support may be as important as it has been in any series all year.

The Oakland Athletics enter their series with Detroit having lost six of their last seven. An inconsistent offense has been the biggest of their problems, as the Athletics have only scored 5 runs twice in the past week (while the Tigers have done so 6 times in the same time span). Luckily for Oakland, they’ll be avoiding Detroit’s two best pitchers in Jordan Zimmerman (injury) and Justin Verlander (not his turn in rotation). It’s not a guarantee that the A’s offense will bust out against a weaker pitching crew, but if they do, expect it to be catalyzed by the big bats of Khris Davis and Danny Valencia. Davis and Valencia are the two most dangerous hitters in Oakland’s lineup right now, with both players having 6 HRs in the past 15 games, while the next best teammate only has 2.

Probable Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Friday, May 27th, 10:05 PM EST; Michael Fulmer (3-1, 5.13 ERA) vs. Sean Manaea (1-2, 7.62 ERA)

Game 2: Sunday, May 28th, 4:05 PM EST; TBA vs. Jesse Hahn (1-2, 4.07 ERA)

Game 3: Sunday, May 29th, 4:05 PM EST; Mike Pelfrey (0-4, 5.55 ERA) vs. Rich Hill (7-3, 2.18 ERA)