The Detroit Tigers will face the Cleveland Indians in a big four-game series starting Monday evening from Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. On the heels of sweeping the White Sox in Chicago, something of the Tigers have not done since September of 2011, Detroit is a confident bunch heading to Cleveland.
Now, how big a series can really be in April can always be debated, however, for the Tigers, playing well against Cleveland could set the tone for the entire season. Yes, the entire season! Why? That is simple. The Indians have dominated the American League Central for the last two seasons, and they have steamrolled the Tigers in the process.
Detroit has lost seven in a row to the Indians and 11 of their last 12 overall. It’s a good thing for the Tigers that Monday night’s starter Francisco Liriano has no recall of those defeats. The veteran is in his first season wearing the Old English D, and if he can have a repeat performance of his first outing, the Tigers have a good shot at winning their fourth consecutive game.
Liriano was dominant in his first start of 2018 against the Royals on last Monday. The lefty pitched 6.2 innings, giving up just one run on four hits while striking out three Kansas City batters.
One plus for the Tigers will be that the Indians will be without right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall. Chisenhall, who has been a Tigers killer over the past few seasons, was placed on the 10-day disabled list Sunday afternoon with a strained right calf. Cleveland will replace Chisenhall on the roster with Tyler Naquin.
Right now the Tigers don’t care who is in the lineup for the Tribe, they just want to get a win. Here is how the pitching matchup for the series is scheduled to break down.
Monday will see Francisco Liriano (1-0, 1.35 ERA) take the hill to face the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (0-1, 2.40).
On Tuesday Matthew Boyd (0-0, 1.50 ERA) will face Josh Tomlin (0-0, 24.00 ERA), followed by two pitchers who have been struggling a bit so far in 2018 when Detroit’s Jordan Zimmermann (0-0 8.71 ERA) squares off against Carlos Carrasco (0-0 5.40 ERA) on Wednesday evening.
The final meeting of the four game set will feature Detroit’s Michael Fulmer (1-1, 0.68 ERA) opposing Trevor Bauer (0-0, 2.0 ERA). First pitch for each game is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. ET.