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Series Preview: Tigers head out west to face Colorado Rockies for 3-game weekend set

Fresh off a road split at the Texas Rangers, Detroit now heads to the mountains to take on the Rockies.

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Pittsburgh Pirates v Colorado Rockies Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers kicked off their seven-game road trip by taking two of four from the American League West division-leading Texas Rangers in Arlington this week in a surprising turn of events. Heading into the four-game series, the matchups were looking pretty grim, but with baseball being baseball, the Motor City Kitties found a way to grind out victories in half of those games.

AJ Hinch’s squad remains on the road this weekend as they travel further west to face the Colorado Rockies in Denver for a three-game tangle. The Rox have struggled significantly this season, currently residing in the National League West division’s cellar 16.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks and 19 games under the .500 mark.

Not that the Tigers have been setting the world on fire with their 10-games-under-.500 record but at least they are only four games out of first and in third place with the All-Star Game just around the corner.

Coming off a tough matchup this week, things look a bit easier for the Olde English D this weekend. Take a look at what matchups have been set so far ahead of the interleague action starting Friday night.

Detroit Tigers (35-45) at Colorado Rockies (32-51)

Times (EDT): Friday: 8:10 p.m.; Saturday: 9:10 p.m.; Sunday: 3:10 p.m.
Place: Coors Field, Denver, Colorado
SB Nation Site: Purple Row
Media: Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network

Game 81 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Lorenzen 77.0 18.6 6.1 4.44 0.6
Gomber 77.0 15.3 8.4 6.28 -0.3

Game 81: RHP Michael Lorenzen (2-5, 3.97 ERA) vs. LHP Austin Gomber (5-7, 7.01 ERA)

Lorenzen makes his 14th start of the season for the Tigers on Friday as the 31-year-old continues his course correction from a brief rough spot earlier this month. After two-straight outings in which he allowed six earned runs in each, the right-hander recovered thanks to a pair of starts in which he allowed one and two runs to the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins, respectively, that unfortunately resulted in team losses. Still, that quality start against the Royals represented a return to his earlier high-water mark this season.

Gomber, on the other hand, has struggled tremendously throughout his fifth major league campaign, currently leading the National League in earned runs (60) and home runs (19) allowed over 16 starts. The 29-year-old’s numbers have gotten progressively worse over the past four years — one with the St. Louis Cardinals and three in Colorado — and his FIP (6.27) plus some of his other peripherals (e.g. 2.2 home runs per 9 innings) do not suggest any significant correction in the near future.

Game 82: TBD

Neither pitcher for either team was announced a the time of publication.

Game 83 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Manning 17.1 15.3 9.7 6.39 -0.2
Seabold 61.2 16.4 7.1 5.63 0.0

Game 83: RHP Matt Manning (1-1, 4.15 ERA) vs. RHP Connor Seabold (1-4, 5.98 ERA)

Manning continues his return from the injured list after spending over two-plus months away from the field with a broken toe. The third-year hurler was not particularly sharp before the injury but was still able to contribute some quality innings early in the season. In the 25-year-old’s last outing against the Rangers, he gave his team 5 23 innings of two-run ball on three hits and four walks, along with four strikeouts and a hit-by-pitch in the losing effort.

Seabold, who is also in his third year at the major league level, has not looked great in 2023 much like his teammate Gomber. The 27-year-old’s numbers, however, are extremely inconsistent, ranging from quality starts to absolute stinkers. His first three outings in June were extremely solid, but since then, the right-hander put up a 14.63 ERA with an 11.52 FIP stretching over two games and just eight innings, surrendering a walloping five home runs. This certainly seems like a guy the Tigers can pounce upon Sunday.

Series Outlook: A very winnable matchup this weekend

The Rockies are pretty mediocre at the plate, ranking 16th in the majors in OPS (.720) but also 28th in home runs hit (72), while near the bottom of the league in ERA (29th, 5.78). Sure, the Tigers’ offense is still 29th in the majors as far as OPS (.664) is concerned, but on the other side of the coin, the pitching staff is 20th when it comes to ERA (4.42). The long story short here is that we have seen Detroit’s hurlers shut down some pretty potent offenses, but it has often come down to whether the boys from the D can put runners across the plate. Colorado looks like a squad the Tigers can beat on any given day which bodes well for this weekend.