Minnesota Twins vs Detroit Tigers: Series Preview
The Minnesota Twins try to stay red-hot while visiting another divisional opponent – the Detroit Tigers.
The Minnesota Twins have started off the season better than many expected. At 5-1, they are sitting atop the AL Central and have a league-best +17 run differential. Their next test, the Detroit Tigers, will put this team to the test. Can they Twins stay red-hot or will the Tigers bring them down to earth?
While the Twins have averaged 5 runs per game so far this season, it’s their defense that has really stood out. We shouldn’t expect much less from the Twins’ young, fast defense against the powerful Tigers. It’s hard to imagine the strong hitting of the Tigers being shut down by the Twins, but if Minnesota wants to find success in this series, they’ll have to at least contain the big bats from Detroit.
Of course, pitching will be a big influence on how the Twins can contain the Tigers’ offense as well. So far this season, the bullpen has excelled for Minnesota. The Twins have a cumulative team ERA of 2.04 (best in the AL). The Tigers have averaged just above 4 runs per game; expect the Twins to have pitching as a main priority to keep Detroit below that average.
Game 1 – Hector Santiago (1-0, 1.80 ERA) vs Matthew Boyd (0-1, 19.29 ERA)
Game 2 – Kyle Gibson (0-0, 5.40 ERA) vs Michael Fulmer (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Game 3 – Phil Hughes (1-0, 1.50 ERA) vs Jordan Zimmerman (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
Key to the Series
Both the Twins and the Tigers have been excellent at the plate so far this season. Expect the two to be very even offensively, as they have been throughout this young season. The key to this series will be on the defensive side – pitching and fielding.
The Twins could benefit from another great performance from both Hector Santiago and Phil Hughes. Also, Kyle Gibson will be looking to get back on track against Michael Fulmer of the Tigers in his first start of the season.
Pitching will need to be very effective for the Twins to top the Tigers in this series, but so will fielding. The outfield has been the shining group for Minnesota so far this year, and we should expect that to continue. With the youth and speed that the outfield possesses, don’t expect them to slow down. The Tigers have a lot of power in their bats and will put the Twins’ outfield to the test, but Twins’ fans should feel confident in their young outfielders to cover a lot of ground and contain the Tigers to stay atop the AL Central.