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Tigers vs. Rays Preview: Never mind the draft, let’s play ball!

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It’s a tale of two pitchers with Blake Snell on the mound opposing Ryan Carpenter.

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Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Amidst all of the excitement surrounding the Major League Baseball amateur draft, the Detroit Tigers are still playing games, for better or for worse. After a night off following a weekend series loss to the Atlanta Braves, the Tigers return to the friendly confines of Comerica Park to take on the upstart Tampa Bay Rays.

While the Rays started the season off strong, they still have not quite been able to keep up with the New York Yankees over in the American League East division. They arrive in Detroit on the heels of a three-game skid, as they dropped their previous home series with the American League Central leading Minnesota Twins, losing the last three of the four game set. The Tampa Bay boys will be looking to get things back on track against the hapless Tigers.

Tampa Bay Rays (35-22) at Detroit Tigers (22-34)

Time/Place: 7:10 p.m., Comerica Park, Detroit
SB Nation site: DRays Bay
Media: Fox Sports Detroit, fuboTV, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchup: LHP Ryan Carpenter (3-4, 2.84 ERA) vs. LHP Blake Snell (3-4, 3.06 ERA)

Game 58 Pitching Matchup

Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Carpenter 19 17.1 6.8 6.93 -0.2
Snell 61.2 34.9 7.1 3.01 1.7

Tuesday night’s probable pitchers are essentially a night-and-day matchup between last year’s American League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell and a guy who probably does not belong in the majors. However, to his credit, the latter put up five decent innings against the Baltimore Orioles on May 29, allowing two earned runs off of four hits — including a home run — and two walks, while striking out three after 79 pitches. While Carpenter did not figure in the final decision, his efforts did result in a win for the Tigers.

Blake Snell, on the other hand, despite not quite performing at his levels from 2018 is still a quality pitcher who has continued to put up appreciable numbers thus far this season. In his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays, he pitched a six-inning no-decision win going six frames allowing only two earned runs on six hits, two walks, and a dinger, while striking out five over 87 pitches. Interestingly, Snell only surpassed the 100 pitch mark once in May — when he pitched 6.2 innings in a loss at the Cleveland Indians on May 24 — so the Tigers should look to work him at the plate and try to take advantage of his inefficiencies.

Prediction

The Tigers manage to touch up Snell a bit in the middle innings and knock him out of the game, but Carpenter is unable to keep the Rays off the board. Combined with a strong bullpen effort by Tampa Bay, the Tigers take the L this evening.