Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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MLB Preview: Detroit Tigers (70-79) at Los Angeles Dodgers (91-57)

DETROIT TIGERS NOTES:

TIGERS COMPLETE SWEEP OF ANGELS: The Tigers finished a three-game sweep of the Angels with a 5-3 win on Sunday. Jake Rogers hit a pair of home runs and drove in four, while Matt Vierling went 2×4 with a double, a RBI and a walk. Kerry Carpenter added a hit and drove in a run. Joey Wentz picked up his third win of the season, giving up three runs on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in 4.1 innings out of the bullpen. Alex Lange struck out one in a perfect ninth for his 24th save.

JAKE RAKES: Jake Rogers recorded the second multi-homer game of his career yesterday against the Angels, hitting a solo shot in the second inning and a three-run blast in the third. Rogers now has 19 homers on the season, which ranks tied for fifth among American League catchers. Rogers is looking to become the seventh different player in franchise history to hit 20-or-more homers while playing at least 60 percent of their games at catcher, joining Bill Freehan, Eric Haase, Matt Nokes, Lance Parrish, Mickey Tettleton and Rudy York.

PILING UP THE PUNCHOUTS: The Tigers had 11 strikeouts in yesterday’s game against the Angels and finished the three-game series with 42 punchouts. It marks the second-most strikeouts in a three-game span in franchise history, trailing only 44 strikeouts over a three-game stretch from September 23-25, 2013.

MOVIN’ ON UP: Miguel Cabrera will try to continue his climb up the MLB all-time hits list tonight against the Dodgers. Cabrera enters tonight’s game with 3,165 hits in his career, one shy of tying Adrián Beltré for 16th place in MLB history.

SEPTEMBER SURGE: The Tigers will look to continue their success in September tonight. Detroit is 10-5 so far this month, which is the second-best record in the American League, trailing only New York (AL) (11-5) and tied for the third-best mark in the Majors. The Tigers lead the AL and rank second in the Majors with a 2.63 ERA and .198 opponent batting average in September, while ranking second in the AL in WHIP (1.05). Offensively, after averaging 3.9 runs/game in August, Detroit’s offense is averaging 4.9 runs/game in September. Additionally, the Tigers are hitting .257 as a team in September, their highest batting average in a month this season.

ON THE ROAD: The Tigers are 3-0 on their current 10-game road trip, which includes three games at Los Angeles (AL) (3-0), three games at Los Angeles (NL) (September 18-20) and four games at Oakland (September 21-24). Detroit is 38-36 away from Comerica Park this season and is 7-3- 3 in its last 13 road series. As a team, the Tigers are hitting .231/.298/.382 on the road, while the pitching staff has a 4.00 ERA (641.2IP/285ER).

TIGERS AND DODGERS: The Tigers and Dodgers begin their only series of the season tonight. The two teams met last season at Dodger Stadium with Los Angeles (NL) winning two-of-three games. Detroit trails the all-time series 14-11, including a 9-5 record at Chavez Ravine.

INTERLEAGUE ACTION: The Tigers open their final interleague series of the season tonight. Detroit is 20-23 against National League foes this season, including a 6-6 record against NL West teams. The Tigers have finished with a winning record against NL opponents in each of the last two seasons.

TIGERS ON THE IL:

  • LHP Tyler Alexander (left lat/shoulder strain, 60-day IL on July 4, retroactive to July 3)
  • LHP Matthew Boyd (left elbow sprain, 60-day IL on June 27)
  • RHP Mason Englert (left hip tightness, 15-day IL on July 24, retroactive to July 23)
  • OF Riley Greene (right elbow inflammation, 10-day IL on September 2)
  • RHP Matt Manning (right foot fracture, 15-day IL on September 7)
  • OF Austin Meadows (anxiety, 60-day IL on April 8, retroactive to April 7)
  • RHP Casey Mize (right elbow sprain, 60-day IL on February 17)
  • RHP Freddy Pacheco (right elbow sprain, 60-day IL on March 27)
  • LHP Andrew Vasquez (left calf tightness, 15-day IL on August 29, retroactive to August 28)

TONIGHT’S TIGERS STARTING PITCHER

57 Eduardo Rodriguez • 11-8, 3.32 ERA (135.2IP/50ER)

  • Rodriguez will make his 24th start of the season tonight in the series opener at Los Angeles (NL). Took the loss in his last start on Wednesday against Cincinnati, giving up four runs on four hits with five walks and five strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Has made three starts in his career against the Dodgers, compiling
    a 1-2 record with a 4.24 ERA (17.0IP/8ER) and 20 strikeouts…in two career starts at Dodger Stadium, Rodriguez is 0-2 with a 6.30 ERA (10.0IP/7ER) and 10 strikeouts. Among American League pitchers with at least 130.0 innings pitched, he ranks seventh in opponent batting average (.228), while he is eighth in FIP (3.31) and ninth in ERA (3.32). Picked up his 11th win of the season on September 7 at New York (AL), allowing three runs on four hits with four walks and four strikeouts…his 11 wins are the most by a Tigers pitcher since 2016, when Justin Verlander won 16 and Michael Fulmer won 11. Since 2018, he has a .656 winning percentage, which ranks sixth among all active Major League pitchers over that span (min. 120 starts).

LOS ANGELES DODGERS NOTES:

THE FINAL STAND: The Dodgers clinched the National League West division on Saturday night and completed a sweep of the Mariners yesterday, their 12th sweep of the season, with a 6-1 win in Seattle. Los Angeles has won four of their last five overall and tonight welcome in the American League Central’s Detroit Tigersto Dodger Stadium. The Tigers will be making the trip to Los Angeles for a second straight year and L.A. is 14-11 all-time vs. Detroit. Following this three-game series, the Dodgers will take on the San Francisco Giants for four games(Sept. 21-24) to close out the final regular season homestand of the season. The Dodgers are four games back in the loss column to the Atlanta Braves for the top seed in the National League and their magic number to earn a first-round bye is six. Los Angeles is 40-19 (.678) in the second half, which is the best record in the Majors post All-Star break, ahead of the Baltimore Orioles (39-21, .650).

INTERLEAGUING: The Dodgers improved to 28-15 (.651) in interleague play this season with the win yesterday, which is the best interleague record in the National League, behind only the Toronto Blue Jays (30-16, .652) for best record in the Majors. Los Angeles can win out their final three interleague games and they would own the best interleague record for the second straight season. Since 2014, the Dodgers have owned the best interleague record or a share of the top mark three times (2017, 2020, 2022) and are 140-83 during their 11-year run, which is ahead of both Tampa Bay (133-93, .588) and Boston (133-93, .588).

WINNING TIME: With the Dodgers win on Saturday night, they clinched their 10th NL West crown in the last 11 seasons and will head to the postseason for the 11th straight year, joining the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees as the only franchises in Major League Baseball history to make the postseason 10+ straight seasons. The Braves went to the playoffs 14 straight years from 1991 to 2005 and the Yankees 13 straight seasons from 1995 to 2007. The Dodgers have the longest active playoff streak in the Majors, ahead of the Houston Astros, who look to make it seven in a row with a berth this season.

NO MOOKIE, NO FREDDIE? NO PROBLEM: With their big stars resting yesterday, the Boys in Blue didn’t skip a beat, downing the Mariners, 6-1, behind home runs from Jason Heyward, Austin Barnes and James Outman. The power onslaught also included three hits from Amed Rosario, who was a homer shy of the cycle. The Dodger bats made a winner out of Ryan Yarbrough (8-6), who allowed just one run and struck out seven in 4.2 innings of relief work. Gavin Stone then nailed down his first-career save, firing 3.1 scoreless innings to close out the game.

OH WHAT A RELIEF: The Dodger bullpen gave up just one run in 8.0 innings yesterday and this month have the best ERA in the National League (2.23), trailing only Tampa Bay (1.36) for the big league lead. Dodger righthander Brusdar Graterol has fired a Dodger season-high tying 20.0 scoreless innings, going back to July 25.

TONIGHT’S STARTER vs. TIGERS: RHP LANCE LYNN (11-11, 5.94 ERA in 29 GS)
2023 SEASON NOTES:

  • Earned his 11th win of the season in his eighth start for the Dodgers on September 12 against the Padres…he tossed 7.0 innings, giving up five hits, two runs, two walks and a home run while striking three…was traded from the White Sox alongside teammate Joe Kelly on July 28. Over 29 starts, the Indiana native owns a 11-11 record with a 5.94 ERA (110 ER/166.2 IP) with 175 strikeouts against 58 walks and has generated a 1.40 WHIP. Tossed a career-high 16 strikeouts on June 18 against Seattle. Since joining the Dodgers, he is 4-2 in seven starts with a 4.95 ERA (22 ER/40.0 IP) and 28 strikeouts against 11 walks. Notched his first win of the season on May 5 against Cincinnati, spinning 6.2 innings and giving up eight hits, four runs, a homer and eight strikeouts. Pitched in four spring training games with the White Sox, going 2-0 with a 1.09 ERA (7 ER/14.2 IP)

VS. TIGERS:

  • Will face Detroit for the 13th time in his career…is 8- 3 with a 3.23 ERA (25 ER/69.2 IP) and 75 strikeouts against 22 walks., Last faced the club on May 26 with the White Sox, spinning six one-run innings and giving up three hits and five walks striking out five in the win.
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