Series Preview: Houston Astros at Detroit Tigers, May 21-24, 2015
The Tigers come in winners of five in their last 10 games. Detroit currently sits 2 1/2 games behind the Royals for the AL Central lead with a record of 24-17. Three teams are currently over .500 in the Central including the Twins.
Tigers Offseason Changes
The Tigers made their offer to Max Scherzer in 2013, only to watch him rebuff the offer and sign with the Nationals following the 2014. At this point, I'm not sure the Tigers aren't happy to see him walk after seeing the contract worth $210 million. The Tigers also left veteran Torii Hunter walk, who signed a sweetheart deal with his original team, the Minnesota Twins.
Detroit flipped another member of it's deep pitching staff for a bat, trading Rick Porcello for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes adds another valuable bat to the Tigers lineup, and improves on Detroit's porous defense. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski rolled the dice again with pitcher Alfredo Simon and Shane Green to reload the Tigers rotation.
Game 1: RHP Scott Feldman (3-4, 5.06 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) vs. LHP David Price (3-1, 3.40, 1.25 WHIP)
Game 2: RHP Collin McHugh (5-1, 4.09 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) vs. RHP Alfredo Simon (4-2, 3.04 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)
Game 3: RHP Lance McCullers (0-0, 1.93 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) vs. LHP Kyle Lobstein (3-4, 4.29 ERA, 1.40 WHIP)
Game 4: RHR Roberto Hernandez (2-3, 3.99 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) vs. RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-5, 5.60 ERA, 1.28 WHIP)
With the rare back-to-back day games for the Astros, we'll focus on game one. Scott Feldman has been everything the Astros could have asked for when they signed the veteran before last season. After struggling in his first start in May, allowing six runs over three innings to the Rangers, Feldman has pitched back-to-back quality starts against the Angels and Blue Jays.
In four career appearances (one start) in Detroit, Feldman has allowed seven runs over nine innings. He is 1-2 with a 7.34 ERA in his career against the Tigers.
David Price is Feldman's counterpart today. Price is playing the role of Max Scherzer this season, playing for his contract. He is 3-1 with a 3.40 ERA in eight starts, he has given up seven earned runs in his last two starts. At home, he is 1-1 with 4.62 ERA in four starts.
Preston Tucker has had a strong start to his major league career, going 7-for-18 in his last five games. Colby Rasmus is batting .316 with five extra base hits over his last six games. Evan Gattis, Luis Valbuena, and Chris Carter all have two home runs over their last six games.
The Tigers have six batter batting over .333 (with at least 14 at-bats) in the team's last six games. Leading the way is J.D. Martinez, who is batting .407 with two extra base hits in his last 27 at-bats. Miguel Cabrera has four home runs and nine RBIs in his last 28 at-bats. James McCann and Ian Kinsler both have three double over the team's last seven games.
This feels like a major test for the Astros against the playoff tested Tigers. Houston Splits the series but takes game one against David Price.