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Series Preview: Tigers at Pirates

Detroit comes to town for a two-game series

Pittsburgh Pirates v Miami Marlins Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers invade PNC Park for a two-game stint with the Pirates. Pittsburgh swept the earlier two-game series back in April at Comerica Park, outscoring the Tigers 8-5.

Detroit is currently on a four-game losing streak and have dropped eight of their last ten. They have the second-worst run differential in MLB at -134. The Tigers have actually fared slightly better on the road, going 14-19 (11-24 at home) this season.

Pittsburgh is heading back home after a rough road trip that ended on a positive note after a series win in Miami. After dropping eight of ten during their travels, the Pirates return to PNC where they themselves have a worse home record at 13-18 (19-21 on the road) in 2019.

Like the series with the Marlins, this is an inferior team that the Pirates have to put away. Pittsburgh has a tough several weeks ahead of them where they’ll see the Padres at home, the Astros and Brewers on the road, followed by a couple of home series against the Cubs and Brewers. Its imerative they generate all the momentum they can get.

A big positive for the Pirates is the anticipated return of starter Trevor Williams for game two, after the righty missing the last several weeks with a side strain.

Schedule

Tuesday, 7:05 p.m — Mitch Keller (0-1, 15.43 ERA) vs. Daniel Norris (2-5, 4.52 ERA
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. — Trevor Williams (2-1, 3.33 ERA) vs. TBD
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Tigers Notes

Offense

-Veteran Miguel Cabrera is having a good June so far, hitting .351 with a .243 ISO. On the flip-side, he’s also striking out at a rate of 26%.

-JaCoby Jones might be the best overall hitter for the Tigers this month, posting a 154 wRC+ and a .267 ISO. His three home runs leads the team in June.

-Both Cabrera and Dawel Lugo have yet to walk this month and both strike out in over 20% of their plate appearances. Lugo is also the coldest hitter on the team, with a .195 average and a -0.3 WAR in June

Pitching

-Norris will get the ball in game one. He has allowed at least one earned run in every start since April 26th and 10 in his last three starts. His previous outing against the Royals, Norris went five innings and allowed two earned runs on six hits with a 3-1 K-BB ratio. Overall, Norris has a 4.52 ERA (4.73 FIP) and has a tendency to give up home runs (1.6 HR/9).

-The Tigers bullpen has been pretty rickety this month. Four of their seven ‘regulars’ give up home runs at a rate of over three per nine innings. Several also have K/BB rates of 2-1 or less, and only four relievers have an ERA under four.