The Detroit Tigers have fallen nine games under .500 and seven games behind in the A.L. Central, and without a strong showing in the next few series they could become sellers at the trading deadline. This divisional matchup is crucial for both the Royals and the Tigers as they face off at the beginning of the week.
This series will be contested from Tuesday, June 27 through Thursday, June 29, 2017 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.
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Kansas City will begin the series by sending out young prospect Matt Strahm. He began the year in the bullpen but is now in the rotation and enters with a 2-4 record and a 4.80 ERA. Strahm threw five shutout innings in his first start but was lit up by the Red Sox last time out. The Tigers should be favored as they get Justin Verlander on the bump. He is 4-4 on the season with a 4.52 ERA. Verlander is averaging nearly a strikeout per inning but has walked too many guys this season.
In the second game of the series the Royals are scheduled to start Ian Kennedy. He is just 1-6 on the season with a 4.95 ERA, but does have the track record to improve. The Tigers will counter with Daniel Norris, who is 4-5 with a 4.66 ERA. Norris has a nice strikeout rate but hitters are doing well when putting the ball in play to the tune of a .288 batting average.
In the series finale, the Royals plan to start Jake Junis. He is 2-1 with a 4.97 ERA but doesn’t have great peripheral numbers and could be in trouble against a solid Tigers lineup. Detroit will send out Michael Fulmer, who is 6-6 with a 3.29 ERA and has found nothing but success early in his career.
Last Hurrah For Tigers?
Detroit has a lot of veteran talent in the lineup and the offense has helped lead the way to plenty of success in the past, but if the Tigers don’t improve there could be a lot of offense heading out. Ian Kinsler, J.D. Martinez, Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera and Justin Upton are among the big names on the team.
It wouldn’t be a surprise for other teams to come calling as they aim to boost their lineup. Detroit hasn’t done much the past couple of years and now must consider a rebuild if the season doesn’t turn around. It would be tough to see so many key cogs depart, but it would make more sense than keeping the group together if it can’t even get above .500 any longer.
The Tigers aren’t done yet, as a strong week could get them back into the mix in the American League Central. However, the odds are greater that they trade at least a piece or two away at the deadline.
The Royals have a lot of pending free agents, so if their slow start didn’t get better they would have been the ones selling. However, now that Kansas City has clawed its way back to the .500 mark, it seems as if the group could make another run.
The Royals have made it to the World Series twice and won a title within the past three years, and the core of those teams is still around. Kansas City has won 11 of its past 14 games to get back up into the playoff race and will aim to keep pushing forward, although it will likely be the underdog in this series against the Tigers despite having the superior record.
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