The Tigers fell just short of a series win — and chance to close the gap in the standings — against Cleveland, but it was still a respectable showing overall. Detroit continues to play fairly solid baseball, and this upcoming series represents a great chance to earn a few more wins.
While the Tigers creep towards second place in the AL Central, the Orioles are in a clear fifth in the terrifying AL East. Baltimore sits 34 games under .500, which stands in stark contrast to the other four teams, who each own a winning record. Still, Detroit could only manage a split with the Orioles at Comerica Park just nine days ago.
That was no fault of Casey Mize, who did his part with seven strong innings, allowing just four hits and a single unearned run. He followed that up with a rough performance against the Red Sox, but the future ace still enters Tuesday with a strong 3.57 ERA and a good amount of experience under his belt this season.
Detroit Tigers (54-60) at Baltimore Orioles (38-72)
Time/Place: 7:05 p.m., Camden Yards
SB Nation site: Camden Chat
Media: Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchup: RHP Casey Mize (6-6, 3.57 ERA) vs. LHP Keegan Akin (0-5, 7.66 ERA)
Game 142 Pitching Matchup
Keegan Akin has worked as both a starter and a reliever this year, though the results have not been particularly greater in either role. His last outing was flawless against in three innings against the Yankees, but his lone appearance against the Tigers last week saw him give up two hits and a sacrifice fly before being pulled.
The former second rounder is still fairly green, but the ceiling is somewhat limited. He does not boast a high velocity and struggles with control, and so far the results have been rough. This is a pitcher the Tigers need to jump all over and see how quickly they can get to one of the league’s worst bullpens.
Key matchup: Mize vs. strikeouts
Mize may never be a top-tier strikeout machine, but he will need to do better than 6.98 K/9 if he is going to find long-term success. That number is even lower since June, and just once in his last five starts has he even crossed six strikeouts per nine innings. He has kept his walks under control, but a .257 BABIP is likely helping him out a bit too. Baltimore is middle-of-the-pack in terms of strikeouts, but Mize will need to find a way to draw some whiffs.