The Detroit Tigers will host the Milwaukee Brewers for a short two-game series, beginning on Tuesday. These teams split two games in Milwaukee last week, with the Tigers throttling the Brewers 12-1 on Sept. 1, and Milwaukee winning 8-5 the following day. Both Milwaukee and Detroit have identical 18-21 records heading into Tuesday. This prediction is for Wednesday’s day game scheduled for 1:10 pm and made before the series-opener on Tuesday night was completed.
The Tigers lost to Minnesota Twins 6-2 on Monday and have now lost five of their last six games. The Brewers were off on Monday but fell to Cleveland 4-1 on Sunday for their second straight loss.
Brewers hanging in NL Central despite offensive woesThe Milwaukee Brewers are still in the hunt in the NL Central, 4.5 games behind the Cubs, and just two games behind the Cardinals for second place. Milwaukee is also only 1.5 games away from the final playoff spot. The Brewers offense has been underwhelming this season, ranking 29th with a .218 batting average and 26th scoring 4.0 runs per game. It's usually not a good sign when your best hitter is batting below .240, but that is the case in Milwaukee. Among players who have enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title, Keston Hiura's .232 batting average, 11 home runs, and 25 RBI lead the team. 2018 National League MVP Christian Yelich has nine home runs and 18 RBI on the season but is only hitting. 201. The numbers are below his past standards. In 2019, Yelich batted .329 with 44 home runs and 97 RBI, and in 2018, he hit .326 with 36 home runs and 110 RBI.
Corbin Burnes, who is 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 53 strikeouts, in 38 ⅓ innings pitched, will start on Wednesday. He has only thrown two total innings against the Tigers in his career, and that was back in September 2018 when he only allowed one run and hit on a solo home run to Nicholas Castellanos. Castellanoslatter is now a member of the Cincinnati Reds.
Tigers fading but not done yetDespite currently being three games below .500, the Tigers 2020 season so far has been a success. Detroit finished 47-114 last season, which was by far the worst record in baseball. This year, even though the postseason seems unlikely for the Tigers, they have given themselves a chance as they are only two games out of the final wild-card spot with 21 games left to play.
One player on the Tigers’ team that has unfortunately not met expectations is the 29-year old left-handed pitcher Matt Boyd. Boyd was 9-12 with a 4.56 ERA and 1.23 in 2019 but showed significant upside, recording 238 strikeouts in 185 ⅓ innings. This year, Boyd has struck out 47 batters in 40 ⅔ innings but has a 1-5 record and 6.64 ERA. Boyd will face Milwaukee for the first time in his career on Tuesday.
The Tigers have been an above-average offensive team, averaging 4.8 runs per game (14th in MLB) and batting .253 (13th). Jeimer Candelario has hit four home runs with 19 RBI while leading them with a .311 batting average. Jonathan Schoop, who spent 2019 with the Twins, leads the team with eight home runs and is tied for the lead with future Hall-of-Famer Miguel Cabera with 22 RBI.
- Detroit is 6-2 in their last 8 games against the NL Central
- Milwaukee is 1-6 in their last 7 road games.
- Milwaukee is 1-5 in their last 6 interleague road games against a team with a losing record