After a brief foray near the top of the American League Central Division earlier this summer, the Detroit Tigers have assumed their rightful position just above the bottom of the cellar. Joining them in mutual misery is the Kansas City Royals, who sit two games behind the Motor City Kitties in the standings after the Tigers blanked them on Tuesday night, 6-0.
On Wednesday night, both teams will feature one of their prized pitching prospects, both of whom have bright futures ahead of them. For the Tigers, lefty fireballer Tarik Skubal takes the mound while former Florida Gators standout Brady Singer toes the rubber for the Royals in a battle for last place in the division.
Kansas City Royals (20-29) vs. Detroit Tigers (21-26)
Time/Place: 7:10 pm, Comerica Park
SB Nation site: Royals Review
Probables: RHP Brady Singer (2-4, 4.66 ERA) vs. LHP Tarik Skubal (1-2, 7.27 ERA)
Game 49 Pitching Matchup
Singer came out of the University of Florida a highly decorated collegiate player, having received numerous honors and accolades, along with winning a national championship in 2017, and the Royals rewarded him by selecting him with the No. 18 pick in the 2018 MLB amateur draft. He has quickly risen up through KC’s developmental system with an arsenal consisting of a four-seam fastball, a slider and a changeup that sit on average at 93.5, 83.2 and 87.9 mph, respectively. While his pitch options are limited, his velocity separation and command of his pitches have worked well.
So far in his debut season in 2020, Singer has dealt with some growing pains but has otherwise held his own in the big leagues. He comes into Wednesday night’s match with mediocre numbers for a bad team. However, he is an SEC-seasoned pitcher who has done well transitioning into the bigs, so the Tigers should not take him lightly. His eight home runs allowed in 48 1⁄3 innings could signal an Achilles heel, so Detroit hitters might want to look to take him long when the opportunity presents itself.
Key matchup: The rookie starters
Both young pitchers tonight possess some elite tools, but they are also still a bit wet behind the ears — especially Skubal, who has a mere 17 1⁄3 big league innings under his belt. Both teams are in need of a solid start from their prospects, and whichever one gets the best performance will very likely put their squad in line for the victory.
While it is a bit cliche to claim that the best pitcher wins the game, in this case, we have a pair of studs who are still trying to find their grooves so anything can happen. Add on the fact that both teams have been less-than-stellar of late, it is all a matter of who can get the most mileage from their rookies tonight.