Detroit Tigers lineup vs. Minnesota Twins: Jonathan Schoop up to 2nd; Eric Haase catching

Detroit Free Press

Game 41: Detroit Tigers (14-26) vs. Minnesota Twins (25-16)

When: 7:40 p.m. Monday.

Where: Target Field in Minneapolis.

TV: Bally Sports Detroit.

Radio: WXYT-FM (97.1) (Tigers radio affiliates).

First-pitch forecast: Cloudy, mid-60s.

Starting pitchers: Tigers RHP Elvin Rodriguez (0-0, 13.50 ERA) vs. Twins RHP Chris Archer (0-1, 4.10 ERA).

• BOX SCORE

Tigers lineup:

RF Robbie Grossman

2B Jonathan Schoop

DH Miguel Cabrera

SS Javier Báez

3B Harold Castro

LF Willi Castro

1B Spencer Torkelson

C Eric Haase

CF Daz Cameron

P Elvin Rodrigue

SUNDAY’S VICTORY: Alex Faedo sharp again as Tigers salvage split of series in Cleveland, 4-2

E-ROD TO E-ROD: Tigers starter Eduardo Rodriguez finally heads to IL; Skubal won’t miss start

Game notes: When looking ahead to starting pitcher matchups, we often note how a pitcher has fared vs. a certain team in the past, as though the mere sight of a certain team logo, or perhaps the combo of colors — gray, blue and orange, let’s say — in a uniform set affects a pitcher’s chances of success going forward. And, hey, if you believe that, the Tigers’ matchup against Twins righty Chris Archer is a bad one for the fellas wearing the Old English D.

Archer has 11 career starts against the Tigers, in which he has a 3.66 ERA while striking out 66 and walking 23 over 59 innings. The numbers get even worse for the Tigers just looking at Archer’s numbers at home against the Tigers — an ERA of 3.13 (go figure) with 42 strikeouts and 15 walks over 31⅔ innings in six starts. Then again, all six of those starts came form 2013-18, while Archer called Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, home, rather than Target Field in Minneapolis.

But if you think it’s the players themselves who make the difference – that is, we may be ROOTING for laundry, as the old Jerry Seinfeld line goes, but the clothes don’t play that big a role – well, then, you’ve got some stats on your side, too.

The eight current Tigers who have faced Archer in their careers are a combined 33-for-89 (.371) with five doubles, nine homers and 19 strikeouts. That group is led by Jonathan Shoop, who’s 15-for-40 lifetime vs. Archer, with three doubles and six homers. Miguel Cabrera’s numbers aren’t shabby either: A .400 average in 20 at-bats, with a double and two homers. The other homer by a Tiger off Archer belongs to Javier Baez, who has seen the ball against Archer pretty well in going 8-for-15. (Then again, five of Baez’s seven outs have been strikeouts, which shouldn’t be that surprising — Javy gonna Javy, you know?)

On the other side, the Twins can’t fall back on Elvin Rodriguez’s past performance against them, or against their roster; the 24-year-old will make just his second career MLB appearance, after giving up four runs in 2⅔ innings against the White Sox on April 10. That total is slightly misleading, however: Rodriguez entered that game with the Tigers down 5-1 in the fifth inning and needing some innings eaten at the end of the series. He needed just 27 pitches to record his first six outs, with just one walk. But his third inning of work went awry quickly: A double, a popout, a walk, a single and a three-run homer to make it 9-1. In the six weeks since, with Triple-A Toledo, Rodriguez has posted a 3.57 ERA with 21 strikeouts and 13 walks over 22⅔ innings, which is probably a better indicator of his potential against the Twins.

It’s the first game of a three-game series, with Tuesday’s game starting at 7:40 again and Wednesday’s finale at 1:10. After wrapping up their trip in Minnesota, the Tigers come home for a four-game series against the Guardians. The Twins, meanwhile, will host the Royals for four before heading to Detroit for a rematch with the Tigers.

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Contact Ryan Ford at rford@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @theford. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter

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