Series Preview: Tigers host Kansas City Royals for 3-game set

Bless You Boys

The Detroit Tigers took three of four from the American League Central division-leading Minnesota Twins over the weekend to get back on the winning track. The Motor City Kitties had a nine-game losing streak going until they took the opener from the Atlanta Braves prior but dropped the next two heading into ALC matchup.

Now, the good guys have a chance to gain some ground in their division against the cellar-dwelling Kansas City Royals, who come to town on Monday for a three-game set inside Comerica Park. KC has struggled all season, including a 10-game losing streak that was snapped with a win in their last series against the Los Angeles Angels, and is in dire need of some Ws.

Take a look below at the pitching matchups set for this week’s major league baseball action in the D.

Detroit Tigers (30-40) vs Kansas City Royals (19-52)

Times (EDT): Monday: 6:40 p.m.; Tuesday: 6:40 p.m.; Wednesday: 1:10 p.m.
Place: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
SB Nation Site: Royals Review
Media: Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network

Game 71 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Olson 13.1 19.6 7.1 3.50 0.2
Lyles 79.2 17.3 8.2 5.82 -0.1

Game 71: RHP Reese Olson (0-2, 6.08 ERA) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (0-11, 6.89 ERA)

Olson is still wet behind the ears but has been an important addition to the rotation, despite his lackluster numbers. After his first two outings — in which he threw 10 innings of three-run ball on five hits and two walks while striking out nine (and no home runs) — the 23-year-old was tagged by Atlanta for seven runs (six earned) on five hits (one home run) and two walks while striking out two. Tigers fans are hoping to see some course correction on Monday.

Lyles is in the midst of his best Mike Maroth impersonation, currently leading the majors in losses with 11 as well as in earned runs surrendered with 61. However, the 13-year veteran’s numbers are not inconsistent with his stats from more recent seasons as he has hemorrhaged runs in three of his past four campaigns. The last time the 32-year-old took the mound, he allowed five runs on five hits and three walks while striking out four over six frames.

Game 72 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Lorenzen 66.0 17.9 5.7 4.55 0.5
Lynch 23.1 19.4 9.8 5.38 0.0

Game 72: RHP Michael Lorenzen (2-4, 4.23 ERA) vs. LHP Daniel Lynch (0-3, 5.79 ERA)

Lorenzen continues to fill the role of de facto ace on this injury-ridden squad despite a rough pair of outings recently. The 31-year-old was cruising along until the combined efforts of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta, who tagged the converted reliever for 12 runs on 16 hits (FOUR home runs) and three walks while striking out six times over 12 23 innings. To be fair, AJ Hinch had to squeeze him for every inning he could offer with a limited pitching staff, but the right-hander will need to get back on track against the Royals if the Tigers are going to have a chance at the win.

Lynch’s third year in the majors has gone about as well as his first two — to say, not that great. In all three seasons, the 26-year-old has put up an ERA of five or higher, to go along with an elevated WHIP and more than a home run allowed per nine innings. The left-hander is actually worse in 2023 when it comes to HR/9 (1.9) and FIP (5.38), while his WHIP has “improved” to a still-bloated 1.41. He gets by employing a six-pitch arsenal led off by the four-seam fastball (91.1 mph, 36.6%), sweeper (80.0 mph, 22.9%), curveball (79.1 mph, 18.0%), sinker (90.3 mph, 11.1%), changeup (85.7 mph, 5.9%) and cutter (86.3 mph, 5.5%), per Baseball Savant.

Game 73 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Boyd 66.0 23.1 9.0 4.57 0.6
Singer 69.2 20.4 8.8 4.47 0.6

Game 73: LHP Matthew Boyd (4-5, 5.60 ERA) vs. RHP Brady Singer (4-6, 6.33 ERA)

Another day, another Boyd preview that is the exact same as the one before.

Baseball Savant

Singer, now in his fourth big league season, was bitten by the Tigers back in May in a game he failed to earn a decision in but saw his team take the loss. The 26-year-old coughed up five runs on seven hits (one home run) and four walks while striking out three over 3 23 innings. Since then, the right-hander has vacillated between good and bad starts, with his most recent against the Angels being a solid one — but not good enough for his team to prevail. If the trend holds tight, Detroit should be in for another stinker from the former Florida Gator on Sunday.

Series Outlook: Series sweep puts Detroit back in business

Yes, there is a bit of hubris in asking for a series sweep, but if the Tigers can maintain their performance against Minny this past weekend against the cellar-dwelling Royals, there is no reason Detroit cannot come away three wins richer after Sunday. Of course, the pitching matchups do not inspire any true confidence — and neither do the offensive numbers, as the two teams rank Nos. 28 (Royals, .675) and 29 (Tigers, .667) in OPS overall — but the Olde English D seems to have the mojo flowing right now. Best to strike while the iron is hot.

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