Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers Game Preview
Wednesday night will feature an AL Central showdown as the Cleveland Indians (26-20) square off with the Detroit Tigers (18-30) for the third of a four-game series. The Tigers will host this one at Comerica Park, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
The Indians have taken the first two games of this series and will look for a series win on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Indians were able to take down the Tigers 4-1.
In the victory, Aaron Civale picked up his seventh win of the season, going eight innings of one-run ball. Cesar Hernandez and Jordan Luplow both homered in the win.
In the loss, Tarik Skubal pitched well, giving up just two runs in five innings, but he was still saddled with the loss. Jonathan Schoop accounted for the lone run batted in for the Tigers.
The Cleveland Indians will be sending righty Triston McKenzie (1-3, 6.89 ERA) to make the start. In his last outing, McKenzie struggled giving up six runs in 3.1 innings to the Minnesota Twins. His biggest issue in the outing was his control as he walked five in that span.
The Tigers will counter with Jose Urena (2-4, 4.62 ERA). In his last outing, a 7-5 win over the Royals, Urena went six innings, allowing five runs on ten hits. Despite his poor performance, he still picked up the win thanks to his offense picking up the slack.
By The Numbers
Both of these teams rank in the bottom third in the majors in scoring. The Indians rank 23rd, averaging just 4.04 runs per game. The Tigers rank 28th, averaging 3.68 runs.
Defensively, it is once again the Indians on top. They rank 10th overall, allowing opponents 4.07 runs per game. The Tigers fall to 23rd, allowing 4.94 runs per game.
Cleveland Trying To Stay In Thick Of Division Race
Despite some issues on the offensive side this season, the Indians are still very much in the divisional hunt. They currently sit in second place in the A.L. Central, 1.5 games behind the White Sox. Guaranteeing a divisional series win on the road would be a huge boost as they look to keep pace with Chicago.
Leading the way for the Indians offensively is third baseman, Jose Ramirez. On the year, Ramirez is hitting .255/.342/.539 with a team-leading 12 home runs. He also has 26 runs batted in, 32 runs scored, and six stolen bases.
Against Urena, keep an eye on Cesar Hernandez. In his career against the righty, he is hitting .278 in 36 at bats with three home runs and eight runs batted in.
Tigers Look To Improve At Home
This is undoubtedly a rebuilding year for the Tigers. At 18-30, they already sit 10.5 games behind the White Sox for first place in the division. Still, there are aspects that manager A.J. Hinch will look to improve on, and a dismal 9-14 home record is one of them.
For Hinch, he will turn to veteran outfielder Robbie Grossman to continue to try to lead the offense. On the season, he is hitting .256/.382/.423 with five home runs and a team-leading 21 runs batted in.
Albeit is limited at bats, no Tigers’ hitter has had much success against Triston McKenzie, although Willi Castro has taken the righty deep once.
Indians Need More Consistency From McKenzie
After a rookie season where he went 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA in eight games (six starts), Triston McKenzie has not looked like the same pitcher this season.
On the year, McKenzie is 1-3 with a 6.89 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, and has struck out 44 batters in 31.1 innings. Again, the walks have been an issue as he is averaging just under one walk per inning (30 total).
The outcome of this one will likely hinge on McKenzie. Jose Urena is going to fill the strike zone and challenge Indians’ hitters. While Cleveland might be able to take advantage of that, the ability for McKenzie to effectively pitch in this one will make or break it for Cleveland.
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