Cubs News

Eye on the Enemy: Scouting the Tigers

4 years agoTony Andracki

2020 record: 11-15, 4th place in AL Central

2019 record: 47-114, 5th place

Probable pitchers

Monday: Alec Mills (2-2, 4.76 ERA) vs. Casey Mize (0-0, 6.23 ERA)

Tuesday: TBD vs. Spencer Turnbull (2-2, 3.65 ERA)

Wednesday: Jon Lester (2-1, 5.06 ERA) vs. Michael Fulmer (0-0, 9.53 ERA)

The Cubs have not yet announced their starter for Tuesday’s game of the series with Tyler Chatwood, Jose Quintana, Adbert Alozlay and Colin Rea all options.

[Programming note: All games will air on Marquee Sports Network with coverage beginning at 5 p.m.]

Injury Report

The Tigers will be without their best hitter, as slugger C.J. Cron is out for the season with a knee injury. Detroit is also missing a pair of veteran starters (Jordan Zimmermann and Ivan Nova).

That’s good news for the Cubs as Cron had an .894 OPS this season and Nova is 5-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 10 lifetime starts against the Cubs.

Projected lineup

1. Victor Reyes – RF
2. Niko Goodrum – SS
3. Miguel Cabrera – DH
4. Jonathan Schoop – 2B
5. Jeimer Candelario – 1B
6. JaCoby Jones – CF
7. Christin Stewart – LF
8. Austin Romine – C
9. Isaac Paredes – 3B

A couple of those names should be familiar to Cubs fans as Candelario and Paredes were former prospects in the organization. They were both dealt to the Tigers for reliever Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila at the 2017 trade deadline.

Schoop has hit more than 20 homers for four straight seasons and Jones has also been off to a hot start this season. The two have combined for 11 homers and 25 RBI on the young season.

Cabrera is a surefire Hall of Famer, but he’s at the tail end of that career and the 37-year-old is hitting just .181 with a .594 OPS this season.

There are a few hitters in the lineup who can take advantage of mistakes, but this Tigers offense ranks in the bottom third of baseball in most offensive categories. They’re 21st in OPS (.717) and have the third-worst OBP (.294) in the game.

Pitching staff

The Tigers have the highest ERA in baseball (5.93), but Mize just joined the rotation last week and is one of the top prospects in the game. He struggled in his first career start, but posted a 2.71 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in the minors after the Tigers made him the first overall pick in 2018.

The Cubs will also see the Tigers’ best starter in Turnbull, a 27-year-old righty who has struck out nearly a batter an inning through his MLB career.

The Detroit bullpen has been in the middle of the pack, ranking 17th with a 4.52 ERA. Joe Jimenez was expected to be the team’s ace reliever, but has posted a 12.46 ERA through his first 10 appearances.


The Tigers are still very much in their rebuilding phase and currently have the worst run differential (-31) of any team on the Cubs’ schedule (the Pirates are also -31).

After a surprising four-game win streak earlier this month, the Tigers dropped the next nine in a row before taking the series from the Indians over the weekend.

In theory, this should be a great series for the Cubs to get back on track after a 5-7 homestand — especially for the offense — but they’re facing solid starters in the first two games. Mills and Lester struggled last time out and Tuesday is a bit of question mark for the Cubs, as they don’t know exactly what they’re going to get from their starter (especially if it’s Chatwood or Quintana coming off the IL).

It will be an interesting series and the Cubs would love to take at least two of three to help their chase for the NL Central title.

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