Series Preview: Detroit Tigers return home to host Chicago White Sox this weekend

Bless You Boys

It has been a tough month for the Detroit Tigers, who have now lost four straight series and are quickly sinking into the mire of the American League Central. Coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves on the road, AJ Hinch hopes the next opponent will help the team right the ship.

Next up are the Chicago White Sox, who arrive in the D on Friday to kick off a three-game series at Comerica Park. The Southsiders are easily the worst team in the majors right now with a 20-56 record along with a minus-158 run differential. While the Tigers have been bad lately, the ChiSox are even worse.

So hopefully, Detroit can score a few wins as we approach the 81-game mark. The pitching matchups at least seem mostly favorable this weekend.

Detroit Tigers (34-40) vs Chicago White Sox (20-56)

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

Game 75 Pitching Matchup

4 IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
4 IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Flaherty 77.2 33.3 3.7 2.61 2.2
Fedde 87.1 22.9 6.3 3.44 2.1

Game 75: RHP Jack Flaherty (4-4, 3.01 ERA) vs. RHP Erick Fedde (5-1, 3.09 ERA)

Flaherty faced the White Sox in his first game wearing the Olde English D on March 31 and started his Tigers tenure strong. The 28-year-old tossed six innings of one-run ball, allowing four hits (plus a solo home run) while walking none and striking out seven. The no-decision team win set the pace for the righthander’s bounceback campaign in 2024.

Fedde is in his first season in Chicago after spending his first six years with the Washington Nationals. The 31-year-old pitched opposite of Flaherty in that first game with their new teams, lasting just 4 23 innings, giving up two runs on five hits (including a pair of solo home runs) and a walk while striking out seven. That turned out to be one of the righty’s worst outings of the season so far.

Game 76 Pitching Matchup

4 IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
4 IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Maeda 49.1 17.1 8.5 5.74 -0.2
Thorpe 8.1 9.3 16.3 6.26 0.0

Game 76: RHP Kenta Maeda (2-3, 6.02 ERA) vs. RHP Drew Thorpe (0-1, 8.64 ERA)

Maeda also caught the ChiSox in the opening series, getting his game in on March 30. However, the 36-year-old’s performance was a harbinger of what was to come, lasting only 3 13 innings while giving up six runs on seven hits (three home runs) and a walk while striking out two. Suffice it to say, that outing set the tone for what has been seen from the grizzled veteran since.

Thorpe is a wet-behind-the-ears rookie with just two MLB games under his belt so far. Taken in the second round of the 2022 MLB draft, the 23-year-old has fast-tracked his way to the big leagues, but it has not been all fun and games for the greenhorn. The righty’s small sample size stats leave a lot to be desired including his 1.92 WHIP.

Game 77 Pitching Matchup

4 IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
4 IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Olson 77.0 21.2 7.1 3.04 1.8
Cannon 32.1 20.9 4.5 3.17 0.8

Game 77: RHP Reese Olson (1-8, 3.39 ERA) vs. RHP Jonathan Cannon (1-1, 3.34 ERA)

Olson has had a tough go at it in recent weeks but finally managed to bounce back last time around against the Braves. The 24-year-old threw a six-inning quality start, shutting out the opponent while scattering four hits while allowing not a single walk; he also struck out eight. Sunday will be his first start against Chicago this season so hopefully he can continue his positive regression.

Cannon is another rookie toeing the rubber for the White Sox, but this one has seen a bit more time on the mound. The 23-year-old has had some mixed results this season but has been solid in June. The righty was used as a closer on June 7 against the Boston Red Sox, earning a save while going deep in the next two games for quality starts. The righty posted a 0.57 ERA and 2.95 FIP over the last two games stretching across 15 23 frames, allowing 11 hits (one home run) and two walks while striking out 11.

Series Outlook: Gotta get the Tigers goin’

The Tigers are in dire need of a tune-up series and what better team to face than the White Sox, right? Well, baseball just does not work that way… but Detroit will not get any better chance than this weekend to correct the ship’s course.

The ChiSox are ranked last in OPS (.626) — which includes batting average (.219), on-base percentage (.281) and slugging percentage (.345) — and also runs scored, while just one home run (66) behind the Olde English D (67) which ranks them 24th and 26th, respectively. The pitching is not much better, ranking 29th in ERA (5.60) and WHIP (1.55).

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