Series Preview: Detroit returns home to host San Francisco Giants this weekend

Bless You Boys

The Detroit Tigers return home after a three-game visit with the Toronto Blue Jays, in which they managed to take the final game of the series to prevent the sweep. Now back in the friendly confines of Comerica Park, the Motor City Kitties turn their attention to their first interleague matchup of the young season against the San Francisco Giants.

The visitors from the Golden City arrive in Motown fourth in the competitive National League West standings, a half-game ahead of the Colorado Rockies and a game behind the San Diego Padres. The Tigers, on the other hand, are in the cellar of the American League Central Division and just a half-game better than the major league-worst Oakland Athletics.

Take a look below at the projected pitching matchups for this weekend’s three-game series between the Tigers and Giants.

Detroit Tigers (3-9) vs. San Francisco Giants (5-7)

Times (EDT): Friday: 6:40 p.m.; Saturday: 1:10 p.m.; Sunday 1:10 p.m.
Place: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
SB Nation Site: McCovey Chronicles
Media: AppleTV, Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network

Game 13 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Wentz 7.0 9.7 16.1 6.54 -0.1
Manaea 8.0 28.1 9.4 5.89 0.0

Game 13: LHP Joey Wentz (0-2, 10.29 ERA) vs. RHP Sean Manaea (0-0, 4.50 ERA)

Wentz looked ok in his season debut against the Tampa Bay Rays but completely crapped the bed his second time out against the Boston Red Sox. The 25-year-old, who was acquired in the Shane Greene trade with the Atlanta Braves back in 2019, managed only 1 23 innings while surrendering five earned runs on one hit and four walks without logging a strikeout. Hopefully, that was just a one-off boner of a game and he can bounce back against San Fran.

Manaea also has had mixed results so far in the nascent season, lasting just two innings after allowing three earned runs on two hits (one home run) and two walks while striking out one against the Chicago White Sox. The eight-year veteran bounced back the next time out with a quality start, allowing just one earned run on three hits (one home run) and a walk while striking out eight Kansas City Royals batters over six frames. The 31-year-old did not figure in the decision as his team blew the lead it was given in the loss.

Game 14 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
DeSclafani 12.1 26.2 0.0 1.61 0.6

Game 14: TBD vs. RHP Anthony DeSclafani (1-0, 0.73 ERA)

The Tigers’ starter for Saturday is yet to be determined at the time of publication, but most predict that it will be Michael Lorenzen. We will update once the decision is confirmed.

DeSclafani has been an absolute wizard on the mound for the Giants through two starts. The University of Florida product has been ridiculously stingy with opposing batters, allowing just six hits — three in each game — and not a single walk while shutting out the opposition. The 32-year-old struck out four over six frames in his win against the ChiSox while mowing down seven over 6 13 against the Royals in a no-decision.

Game 15 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Boyd 9.0 17.1 17.1 4.17 0.1
Webb 17.0 31.4 4.3 4.39 0.2

Game 15: LHP Matthew Boyd (0-1, 4.00 ERA) vs. LHP Logan Webb (0-3, 4.76 ERA)

Boyd has been a steady contributor so far this season, albeit on a short leash to minimize his exposure to the third time through the batting order. The lefty veteran has not made it through the fifth inning in two tries this season, but the 32-year-old has done well to minimize the damage while he is on the mound, allowing just two earned runs in each of the two games. Maybe more importantly, he has yet to surrender a home run in nine frames — an area that has historically been his Achilles heel.

Webb enters the game on the heels of a five-year, $90 million contract extension he signed on Friday. While his traditional numbers are not exactly setting the world on fire, his peripherals — most notably his strikeout-to-walk ratio — are enormously favorable in a large sample size. The fifth-year hurler has allowed four earned runs in all three of his starts so far but has also struck out 22 while walking just three. The main stain on his stat line is the four dingers he has surrendered over that stretch.

Series Outlook: Once again, I am asking for one win

The pitching matchups for this series do not seem favorable for a milquetoast Tigers offense, but as we saw in Toronto, sometimes things pan out very differently than in the game preview. While Saturday’s opposing hurler feels insurmountable given his current numbers, the Olde English D should have a fair shot against the Giants in the first and third games. And for now, as long as Detroit can avoid the back-breaking series sweeps, we can hold off on sounding the doom gong.

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