The Detroit Tigers enter their first matchup with the Minnesota Twins this season sitting on an 11-10 record after taking three of four from the Oakland Athletics. Though it’s still early in the season, many Tigers fans are already starting to panic and wonder if this team will just be a reincarnation of last season’s mediocrity. At this point, it’s impossible to tell, but beating teams that are clearly less talented like the Twins is a must if Detroit is going to reach their playoff aspirations. Heading to the mound for Detroit this series is top prospect Michael Fulmer in game one, followed by the Tigers’ ace, Jordan Zimmerman. Game three will belong to the much maligned Mike Pelfrey. For Detroit, the key to taking all three against the Twins will be run support. While they may not need much when Zimmerman is on the mound, Fulmer and Pelfrey may both need big days in order to be in line for the wins. Miguel Cabrera seems to have finally gotten it together, and if he can keep up the strong play from behind the plate, the Tigers should be in good shape.
After starting out the season 0-9, the Twins have turned it around the past few weeks, going 7-6 in their last 13 games, including a series victory over the Cleveland Indians in their most recent matchup. Leading the way for the Twins is ole reliable, Joe Mauer. The catcher turned first baseman leads the team in hits (24), walks (20) and on base percentage (.459). Minnesota can also thank the turnarounds of both Miguel Sano and Brian Dozier for their rejuvenation. After both of the team’s cornerstones got off to incredibly slow starts, both Sano and Dozier have turned it around to lead the team with 10 RBIs a piece. With the unproven Fulmer and the unreliable Pelfrey on the mound for Detroit, Minnesota will need to rely on their bats if they want to continue their hot play and win their second straight series against an AL Central foe.
Game 1: Friday, April 29; 8:10 PM EST; Michael Fulmer (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (1-3, 3.91 ERA)
Game 2: Saturday, April 30; 2:10 PM EST; Jordan Zimmerman (4-0, 0.35 ERA) vs. Tyler Duffey (0-0, 2.25 ERA)
Game 3: Sunday, May 1; 2:10 PM EST; Mike Pelfrey (0-4, 4.64 ERA) vs. TBA