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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Tigers series preview

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The Cubs begin a 10-game road trip with this set in Detroit.

Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

The Tigers, who lost 114 games in 2019, are a not-horrid 11-15 going into this series. But then, they were 12-14 after 26 games last year, so draw your own conclusions.

Ashley MacLennan, who writes the Outside the Confines series for BCB, is also an editor at our SB Nation Tigers site Bless You Boys, so I asked her to write up a few words about the Tigers for us.

The Cubs will find themselves in promising territory over the coming days as they roll into their series against the Detroit Tigers. While this past week might have marked the anniversary of Daniel Norris hitting a home run against the Cubs in his first career at bat, things are a lot different for the Tigers than they were five years ago. For one thing, they’re really, really bad, and they don’t seem to be rising too steadily from the depths of the Al Avila rebuild era. They have been hit hard by injury this season, losing pitchers Jordan Zimmermann, Dario Agrazal, and Ivan Nova. C.J. Cron who started the year red hot is now out for the season, and second baseman Jonathan Schoop is day-to-day after Sunday’s outing.

What they DO have is a fun youth movement, that while it can’t counteract the Cubs, will still be good TV. Former Cubs prospect and third baseman Isaac (pronounced EE-sack, not Eye-zach) Paredes walloped a grand slam for his first career home run this past weekend. Not too shabby. And phenom pitcher Casey Mize will get the nod for the first game of the series. The remaining starters, Spencer Turnbull and Michael Fulmer have not shown themselves equal to past successes so far this season, though Fulmer is just coming back from Tommy John.

Watch the pitching of Mize, and the bats of Isaac Paredes, JaCoby Jones, Willi Castro and Austin Romine. But overall the Cubs will likely get a series win, if not a three-game sweep.

Ashley also sent me some questions about the Cubs for BYB’s series preview and you can read my answers here.

Fun fact

Not so fun for the Cubs: The Tigers have the second-best winning percentage of any AL team against the Cubs in interleague play, .680 (17-8). Only the Yankees (.750, 12-4) are better. The Cubs did take three of four from Detroit the last time the teams met in 2018, though.

Pitching matchups

Monday: Alec Mills, RHP (2-2, 4.76 ERA, 1.103 WHIP, 4.89 FIP) vs. Casey Mize, RHP (0-0, 6.23 ERA, 1.615 WHIP, 2.91 FIP)

Tuesday: TBD vs. Spencer Turnbull, RHP (2-2, 3.65 ERA, 1.378 WHIP, 3.50 FIP)

Wednesday: Jon Lester, LHP (2-1, 5.06 ERA, 1.088 WHIP, 5.99 FIP) vs. Michael Fulmer, RHP (0-0, 9.53 ERA, 2.029 WHIP, 9.84 FIP)

The Cubs have not yet decided between Tyler Chatwood or Jose Quintana to start Tuesday. Or it could be a combination of those two, or maybe even something different. Stay tuned, David Ross’ choice should be announced later Monday.

Times & TV channels

Monday: 6:10 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, FS1 (no blackouts)

Tuesday: 6:10 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Wednesday: 6:10 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Prediction

Well, you know I don’t like predicting sweeps. But the Cubs should absolutely win at least two of three in Detroit.

Up next

The Cubs have Thursday off, then head to Cincinnati for a four-game series against the Reds beginning Friday evening. This will include a doubleheader Saturday, making up a game rained out in Cincinnati July 30.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Tigers?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    3
    (63 votes)
  • 56%
    2
    (103 votes)
  • 4%
    1
    (9 votes)
  • 4%
    0
    (8 votes)
183 votes total Vote Now