The Twins are playing some decent baseball since we last saw them in the opening series of the season, winning six of their last ten, including a series win over the Seattle Mariners. Minnesota is much better at home where they are 4-2, although they are still fighting back from two series against KC and one against the Tigers and have accumulated a -21 run differential. The team’s offense remains a weakness, scoring just 60 runs (27h in the Majors), a .226 team batting average (25th), .290 On Base Percentage (25th), and .318 slugging percentage (30th). Pitching is slightly better with a 4.33 team ERA (24th), 7 quality starts (23rd), a 1.33 WHIP (19th), and a .260 batting average against (22nd).
The Tigers rebounded nicely off of that Friday night beat down by taking the next two from the Indians and taking back over first place by a half game. Detroit’s 5-1 road record will be tested now with 10 straight on the road and only playing .500 baseball in their last 10. With the blowouts, the Tigers run differential shrunk back down to +14, however the team hopefully will get its groove back in playing the Twins. Runs are getting a little tougher to come by with the team slipping to 7th with 90, however the other numbers remain strong with the Tigers ranking 2nd in team batting average at .287, 1st in On Base Percentage (.356), and 6th in slugging percentage (.431). The pitching has been hard hit of late and are slipping in the ranks to just above league average in team ERA at 3.71 (13th), WHIP 1.19 (11th), and performing above league average in quality starts with 12 (4th), and batting average against at .237 (9th). The team will need to get this offense jumpstarted before heading off to KC after this series and then headed to Chicago to take on the White Sox before heading home.
My key player of the series: Miguel Cabrera
Pitching Match-ups @ Target Field
Season Series: Tigers 3-0
Who to Watch Minnesota (Last 7 Days)
- Joe Mauer, 1B – Mauer has looked like the player of old, hitting .348 the past 7 days with a couple doubles, a triple, and 5 RBI
- Trevor Plouffe, 3B – Plouffe has come around, hitting .292 this past week with a couple runs driven in
- Mike Pelfrey, SP – Pelfrey shut the Royals down over 7 innings, as he scattered 5 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 4
Who to Watch Detroit (Last 7 Days)
- Ian Kinsler, 2B – Kinsler turned things around collecting 6 hits against the Indians this past weekend and setting the tables for the big boys.
- J.D. Martinez, OF – J.D. also continued to prove doubters wrong with a .308 avg the past 7 days and team high 12 total bases over that span which included 4 doubles and 4 RBI
- Anibal Sanchez, SP – Sanchez bounced back decently from his rough start to the season. Sanchez made it 6.1 against the Yankees before balking in a run. He had allowed just one hit, walked 4, and struck 8 before being pulled on what was a very cold day at Comerica
Who Not to Watch Minnesota (Last 7 Days)
- Kennys Vargas, DH – Vargas has struggled as the teams DH, hitting just .063 in 16 at bats this past week with 5 K’s
- Eduardo Escobar, OF – Escobar does have the teams only homer over the last 7 days, however that and a single are his only hits in that timeframe
- Tommy Milone, SP – Milone took a loss to KC, giving up a pair of home runs and 4 earned runs in 5.2 innings of work. Milone walked 4, struck out 1, and had a 3:1 fly ball/ground ball ratio which didn’t help
Who Not to Watch Detroit (Last 7 Days)
- Nick Castellanos, 3B – Nick C continues to struggle as he hit just .125 over the past week which included 13(!!) strike outs in 24 at bats.
- Victor Martinez, DH – Victor without a doubt is still hurting as he hit just .150 in the last 7 days with just 3 hits, although he did have 5 RBI
- David Price, SP – Price was tortured by the Yankees yet again, as he lasted just 2.1 innings, giving up 10 hits, 3 walks, and 8 earned runs
Series Prediction: Tigers 3-0, but the offense concerns me
Next Series: 4 @ Kansas City Royals (12-6)