The Detroit Tigers will be facing the Royals, Indians, and Giants in a 10 game home stand. This stretch of games will define the outcome of the season.
After losing eight straight games, the Detroit Tigers need a lot of help to get back on track. The upcoming homestand could provide a prime opportunity for that to happen. After a long road trip out west (where the Tigers always struggle) a series of home games will be a great thing for these guys.
This is a very good time because I do think the Tigers have a bit of momentum coming into this stretch of home games. They fought in their last game against the San Diego Padres. The club came back from deficits twice and eventually defeated the Padres 7-5.
Not only do they get to play at home, but the stand also starts after an off day. This is huge as the guys got a chance to regroup. Yesterday’s day off also gave players the opportunity to re-evaluate the season.
According to Mario Impemba, now all their butts are on the hot seat. Al Avila will be willing to trade almost anyone if the offer is right. So, if the team wants to stay together and compete, they have to do it now.
Quality of Competition
The Detroit Tigers honestly had a very weak month of June. They missed a real opportunity to climb the latter of the AL Central. In fact, at the beginning of the month the record of the teams on their schedule was barely over .500.
The Tigers will play a three-game series against the Royals starting Tuesday. The series will start off with a performance from Justin Verlander facing the struggling Matt Strahm. On Wednesday, Daniel Norris will take the mound against the Royals worst starting pitcher in Ian Kennedy (1-6 record). Michael Fulmer will face Jake Junis on Thursday.
This series may be the most important of the bunch. Arguably the Tigers’ best three pitchers will be on the mound facing a .500 team. It will set a precedent for the rest of the home stand and will show the effort the Tigers’ players and management are willing to put in to revive the season. The Tigers must take at least two of the three games in this series.
Next, the Tigers will have a four game series (with a doubleheader) against the Cleveland Indians. This will be a tough series against the reigning AL Champions and current AL Central leaders. Unfortunately, I think this series could be a tough one. The back of the Tigers’ rotation will be facing the top of the Indians, and there is a double-header in the mix of it as well. The Tigers will be lucky to take two games from the Tribe, but I think it is a must that hey at least split this series.
The final series of the homestand will be against the San Francisco Giants. For fans that don’t pay much attention to things out West, the Giants have been the Tigers of the National League. They had big expectations to start the year, and are drastically failing. In fact, the Giants have already lost 50 games. This will be a crucial series and may be a last hope for the Tigers if they play poorly against the Indians. Again the Tigers must win this series to stay in contention.
After the stretch of home games has been completed, the Tigers will be traveling to Cleveland for one last three game series against the Tribe before the All-Star Break. In Cleveland, this could be a rough series for the Tigers. I think they will have to squeeze one away to keep hope.
Because of the final series in Cleveland, Detroit has a lot of work that needs to be done if they want to save their season. I think they will need to win at least seven of their ten home games to prove to the organization, and more importantly, their fans, that they can still compete.
This would mean that by the All-Star Break, the Tigers would have a record of 41-47. Meaning they would be 8-5 over their last 13 games. I still do not know if this will even be enough for the front office and fans to believe in the club. They have a lot to prove over these final games before the midway point. If they fail, we could see a lot of trades happening before the deadline. That is why this next set of home games will end up defining the rest of the Detroit Tigers season.