Guardians (58-63) at Tiger’s (53-66) Double Header Preview | 8/18

August 18, 2023

Andy Billman

Double Header Against the Detroit Tigers Gametime(s) 4:10 PM EST and Approx. 7:40 PM EST

3 Things Preview For Todays Game(s):

1 –  Gaga for Gavin and X-Man 

It is a double dip today at Progressive Field, game one is Gavin Williams who is having a wonderful August with an ERA of 1.50 in three starts.

In game two Xzavion Curry is back on the bump for the Guards.  In his last two starts, Curry has gone five innings in both, but he also has given up seven earned runs combined.

2 – Multiple Moves on Thursday 

A couple of shifts to the 26-man roster on Thursday for the Guards:
Cam Gallagher is on the 7-day concussion IL and to replace him will be catcher Zack Collins from triple-
Relief pitcher Daniel Norris was designated for assignment and Tim Herrin is back up from Columbus.

3 – Karinchak is Back

On Friday it is expected that relief pitcher James Karinchak will be back up with the ballclub as Michael Kelly is heading to the IL with back spasms.

Guardians Notes

Cleveland finds itself trailing Minnesota by a few games in the AL Central race, having lost three out of the last four series. Is there potential for them to stage a strong comeback in the second half and clinch the division championship? Their most recent match saw them suffer a 7-2 defeat at the hands of their local rivals, Cincinnati.

The Guardians’ offensive performance has been moderate, scoring an average of 4.08 runs per game (ranking 27th), maintaining a batting average of .251 (ranking 17th), and achieving a .694 OPS (ranking 25th). Their power-hitting has been lacking, with only 87 home runs (ranking 30th), but their baserunning has been more impressive, stealing 97 bases (ranking 9th) during the 2023 season. On the pitching front, the Cleveland staff has demonstrated its prowess, attaining a solid 3.80 ERA (ranking 4th) and a 1.27 WHIP (ranking 13th), backed by 43 quality starts (ranking 13th).

Taking the mound for the home team for Friday DH will be Gavin Williams for the first game and Xzavion Curry is expected to start game 2.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • When Williams starts, the Guardians are 4-6 against the spread this season.
  • The right-hander gave up one earned run and allowed five hits in five innings pitched against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.
  • Williams has pitched five or more innings in three straight games and will look to extend that streak.
  • He has made 10 appearances and finished three of them without allowing an earned run.
  • Williams has started four games with his team as the money line favorite and won each of them.
  • The Guardians have a 5-5 record in his starts this season.
  • In Williams’ 10 starts the teams have hit the over five times.


  • The Guardians will send Curry (3-1) to make his sixth start of the season. He is 3-1 with a 3.39 ERA and 46 strikeouts through 69 2/3 innings pitched.
  • In his last appearance on Friday, the right-hander threw five innings against the Tampa Bay Rays, giving up five earned runs while surrendering six hits.
  • Curry will look to last five or more innings for his third straight start. He’s averaging 2.3 frames per outing.
  • In 15 of his appearances this season he did not allow an earned run.
  • The Guardians were the money line underdog for two Curry starts this season — they lost both.
  • Curry’s team has won one of his five starts.
  • Curry has had five starts that sportsbooks set a total for this season, and three of those matchups hit the over.


  • They have won 17 of the 22 games this season in which they hit two or more home runs.
  • Cleveland has gone 17-5 this season when collecting five or more extra-base hits as a team.
  • They have a record of 39-34 this season when collecting eight or more base hits in a game.
  • Cleveland has won 34 of its 44 games this season in which it scored more than four runs.
  • In 28 games this season with five or more walks drawn, they’ve posted a record of 16-12

Tigers Notes

On Wednesday, Detroit concluded its series against Minnesota. The team from Michigan finds itself trailing the leaders in the AL Central by nine games and is struggling, standing 13 games below a .500 win-loss record.

The Tigers have been averaging 3.94 runs per game (ranked 29th), with a batting average of .234 (ranked 27th) and an OPS of .674 (ranked 29th). Their power-hitting has resulted in 115 home runs (ranked 28th), and their base stealing has reached 50 bases (ranked 28th) in the 2023 season. On the pitching side, the Detroit staff holds a 4.46 ERA (ranked 19th) and a 1.27 WHIP (ranked 12th), producing 26 quality starts (ranked 29th).

Taking the mound for the visiting team in Game 1 will be Skubal, a left-handed pitcher. In his most recent outing, he suffered a loss, conceding five runs (four earned) across 5.1 innings against Boston. However, his prior start was significantly better, allowing just one run in 5.1 innings versus Tampa Bay. Looking back at his performances against Cleveland last season, he gave up three runs while striking out ten batters in a total of 12 innings.

Tigers Stats and Insights


  • Detroit will send left-hander Tarik Skubal (2-2, 4.18 ERA) to the mound in Game 1. He allowed five runs (four earned) over 5 1/3 innings in a 5-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox last Friday.
  • Skubal, 26, has posted a 36-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in seven starts this season since returning from flexor tendon surgery in his left elbow last August. Jose Ramirez is 5-for-14 against Skubal, who is 0-2 with a 4.40 ERA in six career starts versus Cleveland.


  • The Tigers will send right-hander Matt Manning (4-4, 4.60) to the bump in Game 2. He snapped a three-start losing skid by giving up one unearned run and just two hits over 5 1/3 innings in a 6-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox last Saturday.
  • Manning, 25, turned in the impressive outing after allowing a total of 17 earned runs over his previous three starts.


  • The Tigers have racked up two or more long balls in 31 games this season, and are 21-10 in those outings.
  • Detroit is 18-4 in games this season when it has had five or more extra-base hits.
  • The team has strung together eight or more hits 72 times this season and has a 51-21 record in those games.
  • Detroit has a 42-13 record in games this season when it put up five or more runs.
  • The Tigers are 17-11 in games this season when they have drawn five or more walks.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Cleveland’s lackluster performance against left-handed pitchers is evident from their season splits, where they managed a meager .230 batting average, .293 on-base percentage, .357 slugging percentage, and .650 OPS. Their struggles were particularly evident against Skubal last season. Despite this, Skubal, the Tigers’ starting pitcher, has been impressive this season, allowing only one home run in 32.1 innings and shutting out four of his seven opponents.

The Guardians, currently batting .223/.285/.333/.617 this month, seem poised to become the next team to face difficulties against Skubal’s pitching prowess.

In a recent game, Detroit was initially trailing 4-0 on Wednesday, but they made a remarkable comeback, scoring seven runs and taking a 7-4 lead by the time this article was written. I anticipate this strong performance to carry over into Thursday’s game, providing Skubal with the run support he needs to effectively neutralize Cleveland’s offense.

Considering the Tigers’ solid 21-14 record when facing AL Central opponents, it appears prudent to place a bet on them for victory in the first game of the upcoming four-game series.

Our Pick Game 1: Take Guardians and the Moneyline

Our Pick Game 2: Take the Over-Runs Scored

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