The Detroit Tigers head home to take on the Tampa Bay Rays in the first game of a four-game series. Both these teams played yesterday so they had to travel. Both teams made a couple moves at the trade deadline but neither team made any big moves. The Tigers traded away Michael Fulmer and Robbie Grossman, but their bullpen has a ton of depth without Fulmer, and Grossman wasn’t having an exceptional year. The Rays added a couple players in Jose Siri and David Peralta. Both are solid additions for them but neither moves the needle much.
The Rays have really struggled since Wander Franco was injured. They are just 4-8 since the All-Star break and 2-5 on the road. The Tigers are 5-9 since the All-Star break but 2-3 at home. So, both these teams are playing at a similar level right now. Drew Hutchison doesn’t really pop out because his ERA is 4.50 since entering the rotation and 4.53 on the season overall. He doesn’t get deep into games which causes his ERA to look inflated, but he pitches well when he is in. The Tigers traded Michael Fulmer, but they still have a very good bullpen and they should have everyone available today. He is also coming off an outing where he only allowed two hits in five innings to a very good Blue Jays lineup in Toronto.
Jeffrey Springs will start for the Rays, and he has been solid this season, especially since entering the rotation. He has made two starts since returning from the IL and both have been decent. He allowed two runs to the Royals in 4.1 innings pitched and then allowed three runs in five innings pitched at home to the Guardians. The Tigers are much better against lefties this season and lately though. They are ranked 6th in the league in wOBA against lefties in the last 30 days while the Rays have been struggling to push runs across.
The Tigers also have the bullpen advantage in the past 30 days as they are ranked 8th in the league in bullpen ERA while the Rays are ranked 13th . I think they are still that good even without Fulmer too. The Tigers lost two of the three games against the Rays in Tampa earlier this season, but that series was in May. This is much closer to a 50-50 game, take the value in the Tigers.
John Bollman's BOTD: Tigers ML (+150) vs. Rays