The Detroit Tigers kicked off their 10-game west coast road swing with a sweep of the Los Angeles Angels last weekend as the season quickly wanes. AJ Hinch’s squad looked solid in all three wins, though the opponent has now clearly mailed in a season that was expected to feature a playoff appearance.
The victories pulled the Motor City Kitties back to single-digit games under the .500 mark but they still remain 8.5 games behind the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins; the Cleveland Guardians are in second place and seven back. With just 12 games remaining, breaking even on the season is extremely unlikely but second place in what is the worst division in baseball would not be too shabby of a consolation prize.
Next on the itinerary for the Tigers is a trip across town to Chavez Ravine to face the juggernaut Los Angeles Dodgers for a trio of weekday games. The home team is among the best in the majors and has already clinched an NL West title heading into the series.
The good news is that after this series, the remaining opponents are all under the .500 mark with four at the Oakland Athletics, then three at home against the Royals and Guardians, respectively.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, take a look below at the pitching matchups for this week’s tangle in the City of Angels. Note that Tuesday’s starters are still to be determined for both teams and all three games have a late 10:10 p.m. EDT start time.
Detroit Tigers (70-79) at Los Angeles Dodgers (91-57)
Times (EDT): Monday: 10:10 p.m.; Tuesday: 10:10 p.m.; Wednesday: 10:10 p.m.
Place: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
SB Nation Site: True Blue LA
Media: Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Game 150 Pitching Matchup
Rodriguez’s last time out against the Cincinnati Reds was not his best effort, getting tagged for four runs on four hits and a season-high five walks while striking out five over 5 1⁄3 innings. The 30-year-old has had a tremendous season — injury aside — but seems to be slowing as the end draws near. His career best in WHIP (1.15) has been the secret to his magic, as his last outing showed in reverse.
Lynn started his season with the Chicago White Sox but came over to L.A. at the trade deadline to help bolster the Dodgers’ starting rotation. The 36-year-old’s first four games after the swap were solid, but he stumbled badly before regaining his footing last time out. In his eight games out west, the right-hander has put up a 4.60 ERA and 6.43 FIP over 47 innings, surrendering an eye-popping 13 home runs and hitting a batter.
Game 151: TBD vs TBD
Neither pitcher for Tuesday’s game has been announced as of the time of publication.
Game 152 Pitching Matchup
Olson continues to emerge as a legitimate option in the starting rotation as he looks to finish his rookie season on a high note. The 24-year-old has thrown quality starts in his last three outings, logging a microscopic 1.37 ERA and a 4.81 FIP while striking out 13, allowing two home runs and hitting a batter over 19 2⁄3 frames. The young right-hander has come a long way since his debut at the beginning of June.
Miller is another rookie looking to put the final touches on a fine rookie campaign for the Dodgers. The 24-year-old has thrown seven quality starts but has shown some cracks in his last two games, allowing eight runs on 12 hits (two home runs) and four walks while striking out 15 in 12 2⁄3 innings. The right-hander did manage to earn a win in his most recent game, however.
Series Outlook: It’s going to be a tough one
Make no mistake about it, the Dodgers are the real deal. The Tigers appear to be lucking out with the backend of L.A.’s rotation but they are still second in the majors in OPS (.799) and home runs (232) while Detroit is on the other end of the spectrum at No. 28 (.681) and No. 24 (152), respectively. But the Olde English D is not too shabby on the mound, sitting at No. 18 in ERA (4.34), No. 9 in WHIP (1.25) and No. 10 in batting average against (.242), while El Lay ranks No. 15 (4.14), No. 5 (.122) and No. 6 (.239), respectively.
Long story short — the Tigers should be able to compete, but the Dodgers probably have a bit too much for them to handle this week.