***This Game Was PPD Yesterday & Will be Made Up Today As Part Of A Doubleheader***
The Detroit Tigers will try to pump the brakes on a four-game losing streak in their return to Comerica Park on Tuesday for a three-game inter-conference clash with the Pittsburgh Pirates. It has been all downhill for the Tigers since their three-game sweep over the Houston Astros. They went to Oakland Coliseum and got ramrodded by the Oakland A’s. Meanwhile, the Pirates held off the Milwaukee Brewers in the series opener of their nine-game road trip. Michael Fulmer will get the green light to start at pitcher for the Tigers and the Pittsburgh pitcher is undecided as of Wednesday morning at 10:30amET.
Pirates’ bullpen stands its groundThe Pirates’ relief arms kept the Brewers scoreless over the course of three full innings, including one extra inning, to secure a 6-5 victory in Sunday’s finale and a series win. It was an all-around clutch effort for a team with the league’s worst run-scoring defense on the road.
That last line is sure to draw a smile from the struggling Tigers. They’re hoping for an opportunity to hit their offensive stride in a three-game pairing with a Pirates team allowing an average 5.50 runs per game away from their home building.
Yes, that spells hope, even for the lowly Tigers.
It doesn’t help matters that the Pirates’ bats have been as cold as ice on the road. If they aren’t hitting easy outs, Pirates’ batters are swinging at air and grunting to themselves. It has been a common occurrence for the team this season.
That heaps even more pressure on a player like pitcher Tyler Anderson. The 31-year-old lefty is slated to get the start on the mound on Tuesday evening with a 1-2 record and 4.02 ERA in three appearances this season. At least he’ll be coming into the game with a little momentum considering his last outing was a victory over the San Diego Padres. One thing is certain: The Tigers don’t boast anywhere near the offensive firepower Anderson saw against the Padres.
Pittsburgh needs him to hold his ground and give the sputtering offense a fighting chance.
Bullpen unreliable for the TigersWhile we’re on the subject of bullpens, the Tigers would do anything to pump some life into their relief help. Quite frankly, their bullpen can’t be trusted considering they have the worst ERA in the league (6.99). It has been a nightmare with opposing teams burying them in the latter half of games.
The Tigers are already compromised with their lackluster bats. Winning becomes insanely difficult when you can’t hit or pitch down the stretch of a nine-inning game. They’ll have a chance to turn it around against another struggling team in the Pirates.
And it’ll be their first game back at Comerica Park in seven outings—finally.
Right-handed pitcher Michael Fulmer has received the nod to kick-start the series on the mound on Wednesday. The 28-year-old Oklahoma City native is throwing a 3.00 ERA and 0.67 WHIP on top of a 1-0 record. He’ll have plenty of motivation to feast on Pittsburgh’s struggling bats and help put an end to a four-game losing streak for the Tigers.
But it all comes back down to those bats. Detroit was blanked in back-to-back outings against the A’s in the previous series. That’s a rough run regardless of how good an opponent has been. They need to set an early offensive tone in this series and get those bats cracking like they were in the series against the Astros.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Pirates are 30-61 in their last 91 overall.
- Pirates are 30-61 in their last 91 games on grass.
- Pirates are 21-43 in their last 64 during game 1 of a series.
- Pirates are 22-47 in their last 69 road games against a right-handed starter.
- Tigers are 4-1 in their last 5 games as a home favorite.
- Tigers are 4-1 in their last 5 home games against a left-handed starter.
- Tigers are 46-17 in their last 63 interleague home games against a team with a losing record.
- Tigers are 5-2 in their last 7 interleague games against a team with a losing record.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
I’m not making excuses for the Tigers, but they haven’t exactly had the easiest schedule right out of the gates of the ensuing marathon season. However, a run-in with the struggling Pirates is more up to their speed as far as challenges are concerned.
Fulmer being on the mound will be a solid defensive lift considering he hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs this season. I don’t foresee that effort being in jeopardy against a Pirates offense with a .204 batting average and .647 OPS on the road.
Detroit’s bats will come into play in this game enough not to heap a ton of pressure on the hapless bullpen. Anderson has already given up 19 hits and three home runs in only three starts on the mound. So he’s clearly a vulnerable arm heading on the road against a Tigers team that’ll be incredibly motivated to put an end to their four-game losing streak. There’s no series better than this one for them to make that happen.
I’m taking the Tigers at home.
Full-Game Total Pick
It’s no secret the Tigers’ bullpen can’t be trusted. Even if Michael Fulmer puts on a lights-out performance on the mound, there’s still going to be the concern in the back of every Tigers fans' mind that the bullpen is going to blow it in the later innings. Throw in the fact that the Pirates have basically been a walking catastrophe on the road defensively and things are bound to get testy at the plate on Tuesday evening.
Both teams have played so poorly defensively that the bats will be cracking in their first head-to-head meeting of the season. This game will be fun. Give me the over in this one.