Series Preview: Tigers head west for road trip starting with Los Angeles Angels this weekend

Bless You Boys

The Detroit Tigers struggled in the second leg of its six-game homestand last week to the Cincinnati Reds, who came into Comerica Park and took two of three from the good guys. However, the one win they did manage to grab gave them 67 on the year — one better than last season with 16 games remaining on the schedule.

For the year, the Motor City Kitties are 12 games under the .500 mark and 9.5 games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins in the American League Central division; the Cleveland Guardians sit between them at eight games back. While the Tigers are well out of contention and a bit too buried to break even for the season, there are still plenty of reasons to play these games.

Detroit travels out west for its next 10 games starting in Los Angeles against the Angels of Anaheim on Friday night. After the trio faces L.A.’s American League representative, they will then take on the Dodgers for three and then travel up to Oakland to face the A’s for a quartet in the Bay Area.

For now, take a look at what is in store this weekend at Angel Stadium. Note the weird start time on Friday night — perhaps to accommodate Rosh Hashana — as well as Detroit’s TBD on Sunday.

Detroit Tigers (67-79) at Los Angeles Angels (68-79)

Times (EDT): Friday: 9:38 p.m.; Saturday: 9:07 p.m.; Sunday: 4:07 p.m.
Place: Angel Stadium, Anaheim, California
SB Nation Site: Halos Heaven
Media: Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network

Game 147 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Skubal 62.1 30.2 5.2 2.20 2.3
Canning 110.0 26.0 6.5 4.25 1.6

Game 147: LHP Tarik Skubal (5-3, 3.47 ERA) vs. RHP Griffin Canning (7-6, 4.34 ERA)

Skubal’s last outing was a gem – albeit an abbreviated one — tossing five frames of scoreless ball, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out nine. The 26-year-old’s peripherals are nothing but spectacular and his traditional numbers are pretty tidy as well. The lefty has reached the five-inning mark in his last seven-straight starts and eight of his 12 appearances.

Canning saw the Tigers back on July 25 in Detroit, earning a no-decision in the team win that day. The 27-year-old threw five frames of two-run ball allowing seven hits (one home run) and no walks while striking out eight. A fair share of his starts have similar numbers as the right-hander has been consistently solid this summer.

Game 148 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Gipson-Long 5.0 26.3 0.0 1.26 0.3
Anderson 136.0 18.5 9.8 4.88 1.2

Game 148: RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (1-0, 3.60 ERA) vs. LHP Tyler Anderson (6-6, 5.36 ERA)

Gipson-Long makes the second start of his major league career on Saturday following a delightfully effective debut against the Chicago White Sox last Sunday. Against Detroit’s ALC foes, the 25-year-old lasted five innings, allowing two runs on four hits and no walks while striking out five to earn the win. Notching a K an inning while keeping runners off base is a sure recipe for success.

Anderson has not seen the Tigers yet this season but will finally get a chance on Saturday when he takes the mound for the Angels. The 33-year-old’s performance has fallen off a cliff this season after making an All-Star Game appearance in 2022, posting some of his worst numbers since his disastrous 2019 campaign. The southpaw’s inflated 1.48 WHIP suggests that Detroit can cause some trouble if they can get runners on base.

Game 149 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Detmers 137.2 25.8 9.1 4.25 2.1

Game 149: TBD vs. LHP Reid Detmers (3-10, 4.77 ERA)

Detmers, now in his third year in the big leagues, has been a serviceable option in the rotation but far from reliable. The 24-year-old has had a few ups and downs — many more downs — this summer ranging from 7 13 shutout innings to seven runs allowed in just 2 13 frames, which is quite a dynamic range between success and failure. The left-hander’s last time out was a quality start against the Seattle Mariners, giving up three runs on five hits (one home run) and no walks while striking out seven — and hitting a batter — in seven innings.

Series Outlook: Beat the Rally Monkey

This road trip is the one Tigers fans dread every season and Detroit faithful have also developed a serious ire for the Angles over the years as well. The good news is that AJ Hinch’s squad will not have to face Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani — both of whom are out with injuries — and are facing the weaker part of the starting rotation. What does that mean? The Olde English D should prevail over the stupid Rally Monkey in this series, further salting the Angels’ festering wound.

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