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Series Preview: Tigers head to Baltimore to tangle with Orioles

Detroit will play a three-game series in Baltimore this week as the regular season winds down.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers Brian Sevald-USA TODAY Sports

The regular season is winding down for the Detroit Tigers as a summer of misery slowly draws to a close. The Motor City Kitties are only nine defeats away from their first 100-loss season since 2019, a brutal campaign that saw the team lose 114 games. With just 16 more games remaining, the Tigers need to play .500 ball or better the rest of the way to prevent reaching the century mark.

However unlikely that seems, they play the games for a reason as anything can happen in the sport of baseball. Recall that back in 2003, when Detroit lost 119 games, the team managed to win five of their last six to prevent tying or breaking the New York Mets’ all-time futility record. What I am saying here is that... there is a chance of avoiding ignominy.

The next three games will not be easy for the Olde English D as it heads to Baltimore to take on the upstart Orioles, who currently sit just outside of the wild card slots four games back — a game better than the Chicago White Sox. Take a look below at the pitching matchups for each respective game.

Detroit Tigers (55-91) at Baltimore Orioles (76-69)

Times/Place: 7:05 p.m., Camden Yards
SB Nation Site: Camden Chat
Media: Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchups:

Game 147 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Alexander 77.1 12.3 5.1 5.10 -0.2
Wells 100.2 17.9 6.1 4.53 1.0

GAME 1: LHP Tyler Alexander (3-10, 5.35 ERA) vs. RHP Tyler Wells (7-6, 3.93 ERA)

Tyler Wells takes the mound on Monday for the O’s as he finishes off his second season in the majors in Baltimore. The 15th-round selection in the 2016 MLB draft out of California State has put up serviceable numbers for his team, and despite an elevated FIP in comparison to his ERA also sports a tidy 1.10 WHIP.

The 28-year-old faced the Tigers once this season back on May 15 in Detroit, surrendering three runs on eight hits — including a home run — while walking none and striking out two over four frames to take the loss. Harold Castro and Miguel Cabrera were the heavy hitters that day, with the former going 3-for-4 with a triple and the latter going 2-for-3 with a dinger and a sac fly.

Game 148 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Wentz 17.1 21.4 5.7 2.99 0.4
Voth 86.2 20.5 7.6 4.00 1.0

GAME 2: LHP Joey Wentz (1-2, 4.15 ERA) vs. RHP Austin Voth (5-2, 4.36 ERA)

Austin Voth gets the nod for Game 2 on Tuesday in his first season with the Orioles after breaking into the league with the Washington Nationals, with whom he spent his first four-plus years. However, the Nats put him on waivers June 7 and the birds swooped in to snatch him up. Since then, the 30-year-old veteran has put up some solid stats, including a 2.78 ERA, 3.74 FIP and 1.22 WHIP with his new club.

The right-hander has only faced the Tigers once in his career back in 2019. Voth started that game in Detroit, ultimately taking a no-decision in the team loss after throwing 4 13 frames of three-run ball on six hits and two walks while striking out three. Funny enough, Miggy and Harold were also among the top performers in that one, as the former went 3-for-5 with three RBIs while the latter put up a 2-for-4 effort with two runs scored.

Game 149 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Manning 57.2 18.6 5.9 3.49 1.2
Lyles 161.0 18.2 7.1 4.44 1.4

GAME 2: RHP Matt Manning (2-2, 3.28 ERA) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (10-11, 4.70 ERA)

Jordan Lyles gets to face off with the best the Tigers have to offer on Wednesday night as the grizzled veteran continues to chug along. Wrapping up his 12th big league season, the 31-year-old has managed to steady the ship in Baltimore after a pair of shaky seasons with the Texas Rangers in 2020 and 2021. A quintessential innings eater, the former first-round draft pick has allowed more hits than any other pitcher this summer (as of time of publication) but has also put in the work for his team.

The right-hander faced the Tigers once before this season back on May 13, when he surrendered four runs on six hits (including a home run) and three walks while striking out six over 5 23 innings to take the loss. Cabrera once again was a marquee performer, going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs along with rookie Spencer Torkelson’s 2-for-3 effort.

Series Outlook: Tigers playing for pride

If it were not such a gloomy summer, one could almost get excited about the upcoming matchups in this series. Albeit brief, the Tigers have had some success against the pitchers taking the hill for the O’s, but there is a key component in all three recipes: Miguel Cabrera.

The future Hall of Famer is expected to come off the injured list ahead of the Monday night matchup, but this broken-down version of Miggy is a shadow of the player who briefly turned back the clock in the first couple of months before Father Time caught back up with him. Castro and Torkelson have also shown some promise but this was seemingly a different team back in May.

Regardless, Detroit has to take at least one if not two of these to get ahead on preventing the shame of a 100-loss season. However, these Orioles have been humming along and are fighting for their playoff lives while the Tigers are simply playing for pride. It will be seen which wins out over the next few days.