For the second weekend in a row, the Tigers dropped two of three to Cleveland, missing another chance to move into second place. While second in the AL Central is fairly meaningless in the postseason picture, being able to finish the season there would represent a huge win for the rebuilding club.
Just as playing the Orioles was helpful in racking up some wins, perhaps Detroit can find similar success against the Angels. While traveling to Anaheim seemingly always ends in disaster, this three-game set will all be played at Comerica Park, with future ace Casey Mize leading the way on Tuesday.
Mize did not have the best outing last week against Baltimore, but some early runs spotted him enough cushion for it not to matter. His strikeouts are still not quite where they should be, but he should be able to handle an Angels offense that is averaging just 2.9 runs over the past 10 games. Mize’s remaining starts could be limited, but no matter how it ends, this season was a clear success for the youngster.
Detroit Tigers (58-62) vs. Los Angeles Angels (59-60)
Time/Place: 7:10 p.m., Comerica Park
SB Nation site: Halos Heaven
Media: Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchup: RHP Casey Mize (6-6, 3.66 ERA) vs. RHP Dylan Bundy (2-9, 6.17 ERA)
Game 142 Pitching Matchup
Meanwhile, it has been a rough season for Dylan Bundy. While his first season in Los Angeles featured a 3.29 ERA and even better 2.95 FIP, the sequel has been the exact opposite. The 28-year-old is on pace for career lows in ERA (6.17), FIP (5.46), and K% (21.1), which is less than ideal for a pitcher on a one-year contract.
A 10.5 percent barrel rate really jumps off the page after a 4.6 percent mark last season, and the results certainly line up. A 2.02 HR/9 is simply disastrous, and even if this number subsides, not too much good is going to come from a 12.8 percent soft contact rate. Bundy was never a superstar in Baltimore, but he looked serviceable in a rotation. This season is beginning to change that outlook for the veteran righthander, wherever he ends up next.
Key matchup: Miggy vs. 500
It seems like this is all that truly matters right now, especially through the end of this homestand. While the Tigers are probably a little happy it has taken a few games for Miguel Cabrera to finally hit the big one, now seems like a good time to lock it in.