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Tigers vs. Marlins Preview: Detroit is still looking to break their long losing streak

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If this game was a musical, it would be called Marlins at Tigers 2: Mama Mia, Here We Go Again.

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MLB: Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the Detroit Tigers Flying Circus! Currently, your Detroit Tigers are in the “embarrassing losing streak” stratosphere hovering at a season-high seven losses in a row. Given the fact their 5-9 hitters went 1-for-19 yesterday against the vaunted Miami Marlins pitching staff, you may want to check your seatbelt to make sure you are firmly strapped in. After all, if Detroit leaves this series without a win, we may be on this ride for a while.

On Wednesday, the Tigers will turn to one of the the three starters they have been able to rely on throughout the season: Daniel Norris. Norris has not exactly been on fire this year, but at the very least, he has provided the Tigers with 40 solid and healthy innings pitched with a 4.50 ERA. Meanwhile, the Marlins will turn to José Ureña. Despite sporting a poor 1-6 record, Ureña has actually pitched similarly to Norris this season, posting a 4.44 ERA and 0.4 fWAR across 52 23 innings.

So, what’s more likely? Daniel Norris earning his third win, or José Ureña earning his second? Personally, I’m betting on a no decision going both of their ways, but we shall see!

Miami Marlins (14-31) at Detroit Tigers (18-27)

Time/Place: 7:10 p.m., Comerica Park
SB Nation site: Fish Stripes
Media: Fox Sports Detroit, fuboTV, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchup: RHP José Ureña (1-6, 4.44 ERA) vs. LHP Daniel Norris (2-2, 4.50 ERA)

Game 48 Pitching Matchup

Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Richards 48.2 20.7 12.2 5.47 -0.1
Boyd 60.2 29.9 5.3 3.02 1.9

Key Matchup: The Top Half of the Lineup vs. José Ureña

Here’s the deal; Ureña has never faced the Detroit Tigers before, so we don’t really have a ton to go off of. One thing of note, however, is Ureña’s performance by inning this year. This season, Ureña has an 8.00 ERA in the first inning and a 9.00 ERA in the ninth inning. Meanwhile, he has a 1.00 ERA in the second inning, 3.00 in the third, 3.52 in the fifth, a 3.00 in the sixth, and a clean 0.00 ERA in the seventh.

The first thing I thought when I saw that the Tigers’ last five hitters fared so poorly on Tuesday was that their performance would be the key in this game. After seeing Ureña’s inning-by-inning numbers, however, it is clear that it will be up to the top half of the lineup to pounce on Ureña during their first two trips to the plate. Once he settles in, he can go on cruise control. This would not bode well for the Detroit. (If you’re curious, Daniel Norris is quite the opposite: he has a 1.50 ERA in the first and second innings, 4.50 in the third, 2.25 in the fourth, 4.50 in the fifth, and then an ugly 8.31 mark in the sixth and an inflated 33.75 ERA in the seventh).

Prediction

The Tigers fail to pounce on Ureña in the early going, but both starters only last about five innings before giving way to a couple of terrible bullpens. Somehow, some way, the Tigers make their way to Shane Greene, the best reliever on either team, and break their losing streak.