On Deck: Tampa Bay Rays (19-19) @ Detroit Tigers (19-21)

The Detroit Tigers enter their upcoming three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays playing better than we’ve seen in almost a month. Fresh off a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins, the Tigers responded when their backs were against the wall, but they still have a lot of work to do going forward, and that starts this weekend.

Detroit enters this upcoming series on the heels of a four-game win streak. While there have been a couple of solid pitching performances sprinkled in there, most of the thanks for the current surge sits in the hands of the offense. Specifically, it’s helped that Ian Kinsler is in the midst of a career week, smacking four HRs in his last four games, upping his total to 10 on the season. While it’s unlikely he’ll keep up the power at this rate, it’s a good sign that Kinsler looks to be back in All-Star form for 2016. Along with Kinsler, J.D. Martinez has come alive as well. Martinez smacked three HRs and and five RBIs over the most recent four-game win streak, and similarly to Kinsler, looks to be back to the All-Star form we were used to the past couple of seasons.

Nearly mirroring the Tigers is the Rays, who head into their series with Detroit fresh off their very own three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays. During that three-game sweep, Tampa Bay totaled 31 runs, continuing their red-hot offensive pace to start the season. The Rays currently lead the MLB in HRs, behind eight a piece from both Corey Dickerson and Steven Souza Jr. Partner that explosive offense with some strong young pitchers, a few of which the Tigers will see in this series in Chris Archer, Drew Smyly and Matt Andriese, and the Rays look to be a team on the rise.

Probable Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Friday, May 20th, 7:10 PM EST; Anibal Sanchez (3-4, 5.91 ERA) vs. Matt Andriese (2-0, 0.56 ERA)

Game 2: Saturday, May 21st, 4:10 PM EST; Michael Fulmer (2-1, 6.52 ERA) vs. Drew Smyly (2-4, 3.44 ERA)

Game 3: Sunday, May 22nd, 1:10 PM EST; Jordan Zimmerman (6-2, 2.45 ERA) vs. Chirs Archer (3-4, 4.38 ERA)