Guardians (75-84) vs. Tigers (76-83) Game Preview | 9/29 6:40 PM EST

September 29, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 1 Against The Detroit Tigers

3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Cal

Cal Quantrill will be making his last start in 2023 on Friday against Detroit.  Qunatrill has been great since coming back off of the IL with an ERA of 1.95 in five starts.

2 – Lefties

The Tigers are starting lefty Joey Wentz, who in his last start against the Guards pitched five shutout innings.  Currently, Cleveland is batting to an average of .232 compared to .259 against righties (courtesy of ESPN).

3 – Sizzling September

Andres Gimenez is having a great September with a batting average of .356 raising his overall average by 20 points in that span

Guardians Notes

Cleveland is set to conclude its regular season in Detroit after dividing a two-game series with Cincinnati. While it may not have been the season that fans had anticipated following last year’s playoff success, Cleveland is expected to remain competitive in the AL Central race for the 2024 season.

The Guardians have been averaging 4.11 runs per game, ranking 27th in the league, and maintaining a batting average of .250 (14th) with a .694 OPS (27th). They have hit 121 home runs (30th) and stolen 146 bases (6th) in the 2023 season. On the pitching side, the staff boasts a 3.95 ERA (8th) and a 1.30 WHIP (18th) while recording 57 quality starts (12th).

Taking the mound for the visiting team on Friday night in Detroit will be Cal Quantrill. In his most recent appearance, the fifth-year pro limited Baltimore to just one run over four innings, although he ended up with a loss. Quantrill has been performing exceptionally well in September, posting a 1.95 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in five outings spanning 27.2 innings. Notably, he secured a victory against Detroit on April 19 by holding the Tigers scoreless through six innings.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Quantrill’s team is 7-11-0 against the spread in his starts this season.
  • The right-hander gave up one earned run in four innings pitched on Saturday in his last outing, a matchup with the Baltimore Orioles.
  • Quantrill has 11 starts of five or more innings this season in 18 chances. He averages 5.2 innings per outing.
  • He has three appearances with no earned runs allowed in 18 chances this season.
  • Quantrill’s team has a record of 2-5 this season when he starts and they are the favorite on the money line.
  • Quantrill’s team has an 8-10 record in his starts this season.
  • In games Quantrill has started this season, the teams are 5-12-1 at hitting the over.


  • The Guardians are 21-9 this season in games when they send out two or more bombs.
  • Cleveland has gone 21-7 in its 28 games this season with at least five extra-base hits.
  • The team has totaled eight or more hits in 99 games this season, and is 52-47 in those contests.
  • Cleveland is 44-16 in games this season when it scored at least five runs.
  • The Guardians are 21-18 in games this season when they have drawn at least five walks.

Tigers Notes

On Thursday, Detroit concluded its series against Kansas City and is now gearing up to host Cleveland at Comerica Stadium for its final homestand of the season. The question on everyone’s mind is whether the team can leverage its improved performance in the latter half of the season to secure a spot in the 2024 playoffs.

The Tigers’ offensive statistics paint a challenging picture. They are currently averaging 4.03 runs per game, ranking them 28th in the league. Their batting average stands at .234, also placing them 28th, with a .681 OPS, which again ranks them 28th. In terms of home runs, they’ve hit 161, ranking 25th, and they’ve stolen 81 bases, ranking 26th for the season. On the pitching front, their staff has achieved a 4.29 ERA (17th) and a 1.25 WHIP (9th), managing 43 quality starts (26th).

Taking the mound for the Tigers on Friday evening is Wentz. In his most recent outing, the second-year left-handed pitcher surrendered two runs and three hits over 5.2 innings, resulting in a loss against Oakland. Unfortunately, his performance at Comerica Park this season hasn’t been stellar, as he holds a 0-4 record with a 7.38 ERA and 1.80 WHIP in 12 appearances. However, there is a glimmer of hope as Wentz has faced the Guardians twice in 2023, limiting them to just two runs across 10.2 combined innings.

Tigers Stats and Insights


  • Wentz makes the start for the Tigers, his 19th of the season. He is 3-12 with a 6.45 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 103 1/3 innings pitched.
  • In his last appearance — in relief on Saturday — the lefty threw 5 2/3 innings against the Oakland Athletics, allowing two earned runs while surrendering three hits.
  • Wentz has pitched five or more innings in a game 10 times this season entering this game.
  • He has had two appearances this season in which he kept his opponents to zero earned runs.
  • The Tigers are 6-13 in Wentz’s 19 starts this season they were the money line underdog.
  • Wentz’s team has won five of his 18 starts.
  • Wentz’s starts with a set total this season have gone over the run total in 12 of 19 contests.


  • They have won 32 of the 46 games this season in which they hit two or more home runs.
  • Detroit has gone 24-6 this season when collecting five or more extra-base hits as a team.
  • In 91 games this season with eight or more hits, they have a record of 66-25.
  • Detroit has won 54 of its 69 games this season in which it scored more than four runs.
  • They have a 26-13 record this season when drawing five or more walks in a game.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Quantrill has been on fire since his return to the big league club on September 1, allowing just six runs in a total of 27.2 innings against five opponents. He also performed admirably in his previous outing against the Tigers earlier this year. I anticipate another strong performance from the right-hander, especially considering his better ERA and WHIP on the road compared to at home.

On the other hand, Wentz is set to face a Cleveland lineup that has posted a .261 batting average, a .328 on-base percentage, a .384 slugging percentage, and a .713 OPS in September. In contrast to Quantrill, Wentz hasn’t been at his best on the mound this month, with a 5.14 ERA. To make matters more challenging, he’s going up against a division rival who just scored 11 runs in two games against Cincinnati.

Cleveland had a day off on Thursday, while Detroit played the remainder of Wednesday night’s suspended game and another game shortly after. I anticipate that the Guardians, who have a 4-2 record when they have a rest advantage this season, will be fresh and prepared for Friday night. With odds at -110, my bet is on Cleveland to emerge victorious!

Our Pick: Take Guardians and the Money Line

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