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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Tigers series preview

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The Cubs historically have not done well vs. the Tigers. Perhaps this weekend will be different.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers’ last winning season was 2016, when they finished 86-75.

Since then they have won 211 games and lost 369, which is a .364 winning percentage. That would be an average of 103 losses for almost five seasons, if there had been five full seasons since then. Yikes.

As you might know, BCB’s Ashley MacLennan is also an editor for SB Nation’s Tigers site Bless You Boys.

As such, I asked her to write a few words about the Tigers for this series preview.

The Tigers have had one of their worst starts to date, enough so that it has many (myself included) wondering if they’re on their way to having as bad a record as they did in either 2003 or 2019 when they lost over 100 games each year and in ‘19 came close to setting a record for being the losingest team in baseball history.

That said the Cubs are facing them at a tricky time. They’re riding a four-game winning streak, having swept the Kansas City Royals, and the Cubs will need to bring their best because they’ll be facing Tarik Skubal (who is a solid strikeout pitcher when his command is good), Jose Ureña (who has done a surprisingly decent job as an offseason free agent starter), and Matthew Boyd (who has a 1.94 ERA and is doing better than ever). Miguel Cabrera also seems to be awakening from a slump, so don’t let his low numbers fool you. The Tigers might be bad, but they also might have what it takes to manage a decently challenging series against the Cubs.

Fun fact

Maybe not so fun here: The Cubs’ winning percentage all-time vs. the Tigers is .321 (9-19 record). That’s second-worst among all opponents (Yankees, 4-12, .250). They’re 5-10 all-time in Detroit and lost two of three to the Tigers there in 2020.

Hopefully, that changes this weekend.

Pitching matchups

Friday: Jake Arrieta, RHP (3-3, 4.31 ERA, 1.309 WHIP, 4.63 FIP) vs. Tarik Skubal, LHP (0-5, 5.67 ERA, 1.593 WHIP, 7.87 FIP)

Saturday: Trevor Williams, RHP (2-2, 5.81 ERA, 1.742 WHIP, 5.10 FIP) vs. Jose Ureña, RHP (1-4, 3.60 ERA, 1.400 WHIP, 3.55 FIP)

Sunday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (2-4, 6.23 ERA, 1.673 WHIP, 6.62 FIP) vs. Matthew Boyd, LHP (2-3, 1.94 ERA, 0.936 WHIP, 2.95 FIP)

Times & TV channels

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

Saturday: 3:10 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Sunday: 12:10 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Tigers market territories)

Prediction

If the Cubs don’t take two of three here, they’re in big, big trouble.

More seriously, the Cubs have crushed lefthanders this year (7-3 vs. LH starters). They’ve got two lefties to face this weekend, that should help.

Up next

The Cubs return to Wrigley Field for a four-game series against the Washington Nationals that begins Monday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Tigers?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    3
    (29 votes)
  • 33%
    2
    (44 votes)
  • 37%
    1
    (50 votes)
  • 7%
    0
    (10 votes)
133 votes total Vote Now