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Game 116 Preview: Can the Tigers snap the losing streak and prevent a sweep?

Now six games long, Detroit will try to snap the streak and avoid two-straight series sweeps.

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Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox - Game Two Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

It has been a rough week for the Detroit Tigers, who dropped their sixth-straight game on Saturday night to the Chicago White Sox in a 6-4 loss on the road. Matt Manning regressed a bit in this one after tossing a couple of gems upon his return from the injured list, and despite a flurry of early runs for the visitors, the American League Central rivals from the Windy City prevailed in the end.

The Motor City Kitties will need to roar on Sunday afternoon if they want to prevent a second-straight series sweep at the hands of an intradivision foe as well as end the losing streak. The matinee matchup on the mound ever-so-slightly favors the good guys, as they send their Swiss Army man to the mound to face an accomplished veteran who has struggled mightily after missing the beginning of the season to an injury. There is plenty of baseball to be played — here is a look at the pitchers set for today’s duel.

Detroit Tigers (43-72) at Chicago White Sox (58-56)

Time/Place: 2:10 p.m., Guaranteed Rate Field
SB Nation site: South Side Sox
Media: Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchup: LHP Tyler Alexander (2-6, 3.83 ERA) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (2-5, 5.88 ERA)

Game 116 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Alexander 49.1 12.9 5.0 3.99 0.4
Lynn 59.2 23.8 4.2 4.63 0.3

Tyler Alexander, a.k.a. Todd the Painter, gets the Sunday call to make his eighth start of the season in what will be his 18th overall appearance. The crafty left-hander has performed much better in his role as a reliever, but desperate times call for desperate measures and the 28-year-old is a perfectly acceptable warm body to eat some innings at the end of the day.

The good news is that the last time out for the former second-round pick in the 2015 MLB draft was probably his career-best start. Alexander tossed seven innings of two-run ball against the Cleveland Guardians, allowing seven hits and no walks while striking out two on 84 pitches, but was saddled with the loss anyway as the Tigers dropped the game, 5-2. If he can replicate that effort again, it would give his team a much-needed boost.

For the White Sox, Lance Lynn has had a disappointing season in 2022, which got a late start due to a meniscus tear in his left knee he sustained during his final spring training start. Since he returned to the mound, it has not been pretty as the 11-year veteran has still yet to find his groove, putting up his worst stats since a disastrous 2018 campaign with the Minnesota Twins.

The one time the 35-year-old faced the Tigers this season was in his first game back from the IL in which Detroit dropped a three-spot on 10 hits (one home run) and no walks while striking out four times over 4 13 innings; his team ultimately prevailed, 9-5. Since then it has been a rough one for the right-hander, who has surrendered four or more runs in seven of his 11 appearances.

Key Matchup: Tigers’ offense vs. Lynn

Detroit got to Lynn the last time they saw him and Chicago’s starter has done nothing in the meantime to suggest that the Tigers cannot repeat that performance. Much like in that previous meeting, this game will likely turn into a shootout — especially if the Sox get to Alexander early — so the best bet for the Olde English D today lies on the bats.