Milwaukee has gone 5-3 so far on the homestand against the Reds and Pirates, and while that’s a good mark, it does still feel slightly disappointing given 2 of the losses came in a doubleheader against Cincinnati after they had won the first 2 games of the series, and a bit of a dud on Sunday against Pittsburgh.
Still, a win in the next two days would ensure a winning homestand, which would help in their hopes of grabbing one of the top two spots in the NL Central. A two-game sweep would mean winning 7 of their last 10 games, which could calm a lot of fears as we start Craigtember.
The Tigers have been one of the more surprising teams in baseball over the first month, coming into tonight with a .500 record at 16-16 after being one of the worst teams in the league over the last several years.
They’ve seen some surprising offensive outputs from Jeimer Candelario (.299/.342/.523 with 4 home runs and 6 doubles) and old friend Jonathan Schoop (.303/.341/.529 with 8 home runs). They’ll no longer have Cameron Maybin, who was sent to the Cubs at the trade deadline in what feels like the annual Cubs-Tigers trade.
Detroit has tended to be streaky in this short season, and come into tonight with a 5-game winning streak against the Cubs and Twins — two very tough opponents. That streak follows a stretch in which they went 2-11 with a 9-game losing streak — which followed a 4 game win-streak.
Tuesday, September 1st - 6:40 p.m. CDT
Michael Fulmer vs. Josh Lindblom
Wednesday, September 2nd - 6:40 p.m. CDT
Spencer Turnbull vs. Adrian Houser
Fulmer is slowly trying to make his way back from Tommy John surgery, and like Corey Knebel, it’s been a rough go of it so far. The 2016 AL Rookie of the Year missed all of last year after having surgery and has made 5 short starts this year as he’s been eased into action. He’s basically been on the Spring Training pitching plan, only allowed to throw 3 innings at most, regardless of effectiveness. Unfortunately for the Tigers, he hasn’t been effective often — he’s coming off an outing in which he gave up 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks over 3 innings against the Cubs, which is actually one of his better starts of the season. His start before that, he gave up 5 runs on 5 hits over 3 innings against Cleveland.
Turnbull had an extremely tough season last year, leading the majors with 17 losses and 16 hit batters, but has turned things around in a big way so far this year. He’s put up a 2.97 ERA in 6 starts. FIP says he’s been a bit lucky with a mark of 3.40, and that’s likely due to his high 5.3 BB/9 walk rate. He leads the AL with 18 free passes so far this year.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference