Series Preview: Detroit Tigers hit road to face Boston Red Sox for 4-game set

Bless You Boys

The Detroit Tigers completed their successful six-game homestand this week by splitting a doubleheader on Wednesday with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Couple that with a 3-1 series win over the Toronto Blue Jays before — which snapped a five-game losing streak — and the Motor City Kitties appear to be back on the upswing.

AJ Hinch’s team now returns to the road starting with a four-game series at the Boston Red Sox starting on Thursday night. Both teams have similar records but very different expectations, so it will be interesting to see how things pan out this weekend.

Below is a look at the pitching matchups for the next four games between the Tigers and Red Sox.

Detroit Tigers (27-28) at Boston Red Sox (28-28)

Times (ET): Thursday: 7:10 p.m.; Friday: 7:10 p.m.; Saturday: 4:10 p.m.; Sunday: 1:35 p.m.
Place: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
SB Nation Site: Over the Monster
Media: Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network

Game 56 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Flaherty 61.0 33.3 3.7 2.98 1.4
Pivetta 30.0 27.7 4.2 4.46 0.2

Game 56: RHP Jack Flaherty (1-4, 3.84 ER) vs. RHP Nick Pivetta (2-3, 4.20 ERA)

Flaherty has now thrown five straight quality starts after his losing effort against the Toronto Blue Jays during his last time out. The 28-year-old put up a 2.84 ERA and 2.40 FIP stretching 31 23 innings over those games, walking five while striking out 45 but allowing four home runs.

Pivetta landed on the injured list with a right elbow flexor sprain early in the season but returned this month to toss four starts for the BoSox. The 31-year-old put up an ugly 6.16 ERA and 5.76 FIP stretching across 19 frames in those games, walking four while striking out 20 but allowing six home runs.

Game 57 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Maeda 35.2 15.8 6.6 5.99 -0.3
Houck 71.0 24.4 4.6 2.13 0.2

Game 57: RHP Kenta Maeda (2-1, 5.80 ERA) vs. RHP Tanner Houck (4-5, 1.90 ERA)

Maeda continues his return to the rotation after a spell on the IL looking to improve on his rough start with the Tigers. The 36-year-old’s last time out was as good as it gets from him, allowing four hits and no walks over five scoreless innings with just a strikeout to earn his second win of the 2024 campaign.

Houck has been among the best in the business on the bump putting up sparkling numbers buoyed in large part by throwing quality starts in nine of his 11 outings so far. The 27-year-old currently leads the majors in fWAR (just ahead of Tarik Skubal), is third in FIP (behind Chris Sale and Skubal, respectively) and has simply been dominant this year.

Game 58 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Olson 56.1 20.5 8.3 2.86 1.4
Criswell 38.2 22.2 5.6 3.80 2.5

Game 58: RHP Reese Olson (1-5, 1.92 ERA) vs. RHP Cooper Criswell (2-2, 3.96 ERA)

Olson has a strong argument for the Tigers’ No. 2 spot in the rotation if Flaherty were not so good with his peripheral numbers. The 24-year-old quality starts in half of his 10 outings in 2024 and recorded a 0.64 ERA and 2.95 FIP in five May games stretching over 28 frames, issuing eight walks against 21 strikeouts with just one home run allowed.

Criswell’s fourth major league season is going fairly smoothly so far although he has not been much of an innings eater for the Sox. The 27-year-old has not made it past 5 13 innings in eight starts — while also making a multi-inning appearance in relief — but has looked bad in his last three appearances, posting a 7.62 ERA but a 3.59 FIP over 13 frames.

Game 59 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Mize 49.2 15.5 5.5 4.11 0.5
Bello 47.1 22.1 7.5 4.61 0.3

Game 59: RHP Casey Mize (1-3, 4.71 ERA) vs. RHP Brayan Bello (6-2, 4.18 ERA)

Mize has struggled in his last two games after — and in May generally — after an April that saw the Tigers win all five of his starts. The 27-year-old’s next five, however, produced a 6.56 ERA and 5.31 FIP over 23 13 innings despite a pair of quality starts in the mix; he has given up one home run in all five May starts as well.

Bello has been a perfectly adequate starter for Boston in his third big-league season, turning in at least five frames in all but one of his nine starts with two being of the quality variety. The 25-year-old has struggled this May, however, posting a 5.66 ERA and 5.35 FIP over 20 23 innings with eight walks (two hit-by-pitches), 18 strikeouts and four home runs allowed.

Series Outlook: Looking for at least another split

The Tigers have two of their three most reliable starters toeing the mound in this extended series but Boston is no slouch. The Sox are 10th in the majors in OPS (.715) and third overall in ERA (3.29), so despite the mediocre record they are statistically a top-10-ish team; Detroit, on the other hand, is No. 20 in OPS (.681) and 10th in ERA (3.82). Nonetheless, as long as the offense does not completely stall out, there is no reason why the Olde English D cannot win two of the next four.

Articles You May Like

Javier Báez to the 10-day IL, Ryan Kreidler recalled from Toledo
Series Preview: Detroit Tigers host Washington Nationals for 3-game weekday set
Tigers Notes: Baez, Kreidler, McKinstry, Flaherty
Wilkel Hernandez pitches well on a day of rain outs across the system
Series Preview: Detroit Tigers travel to face Houston Astros for 3-game weekend set

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *