Guardians (59-64) at Tiger’s (54-67) Match-Up Preview | 8/19 7:10 PM EST

August 19, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 3 of the Series Against the Detroit Tigers

3 Things Preview For Todays Game:

1 –  Brillant Bibee

Tanner Bibee is starting tonight for the Guardians and is having a fantastic summer.  Bibee has not lost since June 13th and the most runs he has given up in one game since June 18th is three runs.  During that time, Bibee’s ERA dropped from 4.05 to 2.90. 

2 – JRAM in the two-hole 

Since batting in the two-hole, Jose Ramirez in 16 at-bats has six hits with two doubles.  So far so good. 

3 – Sam Hentges 

Sam Hentges had a terrible month of July with an ERA over 14.  But August has been a much different story as he has pitched 6 1/3 innings without giving up a run.

Guardians Notes

Throughout the season, the Guardians have consistently remained close to the Twins in terms of performance, yet they’ve struggled to surpass them for more than a single day. With a slight deficit in games now, Cleveland is in need of a scoring spree to turn the situation around. Without generating runs, achieving success seems nearly insurmountable. While Detroit ranks 29th in runs per game, Cleveland’s offensive performance isn’t much better, ranking 27th. On the positive side, the Guardians boast the lowest strikeout rate in MLB and have managed a top-10 stolen base count. Nevertheless, they lack power, sitting at the bottom of the league in home runs, and their slugging percentage ranks 27th. The absence of Josh Naylor further exacerbates these challenges, and Cleveland struggles to draw walks as well. It remains intriguing to observe how they’ll fare against a pitcher who has consistently dominated them this season.

Were it not for their pitching prowess, Cleveland’s position in the standings would likely be much different. The pitching staff has been exceptional throughout the season, even in the face of injuries and the departure of a valuable arm via trade. Notably, Tanner Bibee has been a consistent presence and is slated to start on Saturday. Bibee faced Detroit once in the current season, during which he conceded seven hits, issued four walks, and allowed four runs in 3.2 innings pitched. This performance was an anomaly for the rookie, who maintains an impressive 2.90 ERA and a 1.206 WHIP over 19 career starts. Since July 1, he has thrown for 49.1 innings and surrendered just 10 runs. With the combined strengths of Bibee and a highly skilled bullpen, Cleveland’s pitching should hold up well.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Bibee’s team is 15-4-0 against the spread this season in his starts.
  • The right-hander gave up two earned runs and allowed seven hits in seven innings pitched against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
  • Bibee has 10 starts in a row of five innings or more.
  • In 19 appearances this season, he has finished three without allowing an earned run.
  • When Bibee starts a game and his team is the favorite on the money line, they have a record of 6-1.
  • Bibee’s team has won 11 of his 19 starts this season.
  • In games Bibee has started this season, the teams are 8-11-0 at hitting the over.


  • The Guardians have a 17-5 record in games this season when they hit at least two home runs.
  • Cleveland is 17-5 in games this season when it has put up five or more extra-base hits.
  • The club has strung together eight or more hits in 73 games this season and is 39-34 in those contests.
  • Cleveland is 34-10 in games this season when it scored at least five runs.
  • The Guardians are 17-12 in games this season when they have drawn five or more walks.

Tigers Notes

The Tigers team appears distant from reaching the playoffs, but their efforts have posed a considerable challenge for the other teams in the AL Central division. Before this series, Detroit had an impressive record of 22-14 against their division rivals, a performance that stands out as their strongest against any pairings in MLB. Their pitching has been a significant contributor, maintaining a solid 3.28 ERA in battles within the AL Central. The upcoming game features left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound, potentially contributing to further lowering that ERA. Rodriguez has shown remarkable performance against Cleveland, throwing 15.0 scoreless innings over two starts this season, both of which resulted in victories for Detroit. The question remains whether he can replicate these exceptional displays in the third encounter.

Naturally, Rodriguez’s flawless pitching was essential in those games due to the Tigers’ somewhat lackluster offense. Among all teams this season, only the Oakland Athletics are scoring fewer runs per game than Detroit. The Tigers rank among the bottom five teams in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, stolen bases, and home runs. Despite some bright spots emerging, like Kerry Carpenter and Riley Greene, the Tigers’ plate appearances often leave much to be desired.

Tigers Stats and Insights


  • Rodriguez (8-6 with a 3.13 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 106 1/3 innings pitched) makes the start for the Tigers, his 19th of the season.
  • In his most recent appearance on Sunday, the left-hander tossed five innings against the Boston Red Sox, giving up six earned runs while surrendering 10 hits.
  • Rodriguez will try to last five or more innings for his fourth straight start. He’s averaging 5.9 innings per outing.
  • He has had five appearances this season that he held his opponents to zero earned runs.
  • The Tigers have been the underdog on the money line in 11 of Rodríguez’s starts this season, and they went 6-5 in those matchups.
  • Rodríguez’s team has won nine of his 18 starts.
  • Rodriguez has had 18 starts that oddsmakers set a total for this season, and eight of those games finished over the total.


  • They are 22-10 this season when they hit two or more home runs in a game.
  • Detroit has won 19 of its 23 games with five or more extra-base hits this season.
  • In 73 games this season with eight or more hits, they have a record of 52-21.
  • Detroit has a 42-13 record this season when scoring five or more runs in a game.
  • In 28 games this season with five or more walks drawn, they’ve posted a record of 17-11

Final Thoughts/Pick

We’ve watched this movie on two occasions, featuring Eduardo Rodriguez as the initial pitcher against the Cleveland Guardians. On both occasions, he undoubtedly stood out, guiding the Tigers to triumph with two shutout victories. While it might appear unexpected, baseball teams can’t secure victories without tallying runs. Unless Cleveland manages to challenge Eduardo Rodriguez and the dominant Tigers team in the AL Central, the smarter choice seems to be Detroit. This is particularly valid considering Tanner Bibee’s lone previous start against the Tigers, which was quite challenging.

Our Pick: Take Tigers and the Moneyline

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