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Tigers vs. Royals Preview: Detroit seeks to clinch final home series of the season

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The Royals and Tigers split the first pair of games and it all comes down to Sunday.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers evened their three-game home weekend series against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night, 5-1, thanks to a strong pitching effort and a turn-back-the-clock night from future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera. Now on Sunday afternoon, the Olde English D looks to seal the deal and win its final series at Comerica Park in 2021.

This is an early one, with game time slated during the lunch hour, so this will be a quick review today. Detroit sends one of the biggest surprises this season to the bump to face one of KC’s bigger disappointments. Here is what to expect from the respective pitching staffs.

Detroit Tigers (75-79) vs. Kansas City Royals (70-84)

Time/Place: 12:10 p.m., Comerica Park
SB Nation site: Royals Review
Media: Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchup: RHP Wily Peralta (4-3, 3.04 ERA) vs. LHP Kris Bubic (5-6, 4.80 ERA)

Game 155 Pitching Matchup

Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Peralta 83.0 15.0 9.2 4.90 0.6
Bubic 116.1 20.4 11.5 5.39 -0.1

Despite many metrics that do not favor him well, Wily Peralta has turned in a fine performance this summer for the Tigers after signing a minor league contract ahead of the season. He has a tidy ERA, a mediocre 1.23 WHIP and a FIP that suggests he has been getting very lucky, but the grizzled veteran has been a valuable member of an injury-depleted pitching staff at the ripe age of 32.

This will be the third time Peralta has faced the Royals this year — his first was his Detroit debut and only relief appearance in which he pitched 1 13 shutout innings, while his second was a five-run shelling over 5 23 innings on July 23. It would be nice to see the right-hander find some success on Sunday in his final 2021 appearance against the Monarchs.

Kris Bubic has not been what Kansas City had hoped in his second season with the big league team. His 1.46 WHIP and 5.39 FIP are heart-attack-inducing, and combined with a subpar K rate and high walk rate, and you have yourself a recipe for a negative fWAR in over 100-plus innings pitched. Here is a look at how he compares to his peers, per Baseball Savant.

Baseball Savant

Key Matchup: Offense vs. Bubic

Much like yesterday, the Tigers have an opposing pitcher that they should feast upon.

That’s it. That’s the key matchup.