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Series Preview: Tigers wrap up road trip with 4-game series at Cleveland Guardians

Detroit heads to the Mistake by the Lake to take on their fierce Central division rivals this weekend.

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Cleveland Indians vs Texas Rangers Set Number: X159637 TK1

The Detroit Tigers wrap up their nine-game road swing this weekend at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, as the Guardians host the visitors for an American League Central division rumble. The Motor City Kitties kicked off the road trip dropping two of three to the Boston Red Sox before splitting a pair with the division-leading Minnesota Twins the past few days.

Cleveland, which sits in second place in the AL Central, has struggled in recent days, going just 4-6 over its last 10 as the Guardians’ pursuit of the Twins appears to be falling short. Five games under .500 and 4.5 games out of first they still have a chance, as Jim Carey would say, but the clock is quickly running out on them.

The Tigers, on the other hand, are eight games out of first and 12 games under the .500 mark, which puts them ostensibly out of the race all but mathematically. But who knows, maybe the team goes on a run while the Twinkies and Guards soil the bed. It is pretty unlikely, but baseball is baseball.

Take a look below at the matchups set for this weekend’s quartet of games at Cleveland, annoyed by Baseball Savant’s 2023 MLB Percentile Rankings. Note that Thursday night’s game is listed as being broadcast on FOX.

Detroit Tigers (54-66) at Cleveland Guardians (58-63)

Times (EDT): Thursday: 7:15 p.m.; Friday: 7:10 p.m.; Saturday: 7:10 p.m.; Sunday: 1:40 p.m.
Place: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
SB Nation Site: Covering the Corner
Media: Bally Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network, FOX

Game 121 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Skubal 32.1 27.7 4.6 2.09 1.3
Curry 69.0 16.1 6.7 4.31 0.4

Game 121: LHP Tarik Skubal (2-2, 4.18 ERA) vs. RHP Xzavion Curry (3-1, 3.39 ERA)

Skubal:

Baseball Savant

Curry:

Baseball Savant

Game 122 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Manning 58.2 16.3 6.9 5.24 0.1
Williams 54.2 26.6 9.9 3.67 1.0

Game 122: RHP Matt Manning (4-4, 4.60 ERA) vs. RHP Gavin Williams (1-3, 2.80 ERA)

Manning:

Baseball Savant

Williams:

Baseball Savant

Game 123 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Rodriguez 106.1 25.3 6.0 3.23 2.6
Bibbee 108.2 23.5 7.8 2.90 2.3

Game 123: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (8-6, 3.13 ERA) vs. RHP Tanner Bibee (9-2, 2.90 ERA)

Rodriguez:

Baseball Savant

Bibee:

Baseball Savant

Game 124 Pitching Matchup

Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Player IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Faedo 45.1 22.7 6.1 5.16 0.3
Allen 97.1 22.9 9.2 3.98 1.6

Game 124: RHP Alex Faedo (2-4, 5.16 ERA) vs LHP Logan Allen (6-5, 3.33 ERA)

Faedo:

Baseball Savant

Allen:

Baseball Savant

Series Outlook: A sweep could make things interesting

In the intro, I mentioned that the Tigers are all but mathematically eliminated from the AL Central race, but there is a caveat — if they can somehow sweep the Guardians this weekend then second place is ripe for the taking by a game in the loss column. From there, the team can build on that success and make a run for the .500 mark while hoping for the best. As sad as it is, just breaking even in the win-loss column could be enough to emerge victoriously from this embarrassing division, but as one commenter mentioned in the previous preview, this is the “make-or-break” week.