Guardians (76-84) vs. Tigers (76-84) Game Preview | 9/30 1:10 PM EST

September 30, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 2 Against The Detroit Tigers

3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – McKenzie

Triston McKenzie will be making his second start after being on the IL most of the year on Saturday.  McKenzie went one 2/3 innings while giving up three runs in his last start against the Orioles.

2 – Tied for second

Heading into Saturday, the Guardians and Tigers are tied for second place at 76-84.

3 – Hentges Hot Streak

Sam Hentges pitched an inning on Friday without giving up a run, and he has been on quite a streak since July 29th, giving up only one earned run over 24 1/3 innings.

Guardians Notes

The Cleveland Guardians are in the final stretch of an immensely successful baseball season under the leadership of manager Terry Francona. Francona recently disclosed that this season is likely to mark his farewell as the Guardians’ manager. As he departs, Francona will leave behind a remarkable legacy, having achieved the status of the most successful manager in the franchise’s history, winning the Manager of the Year award three times during his tenure with Cleveland. He also guided the team to six playoff appearances in his impressive eleven-year reign. In a thrilling Friday night matchup, the Guardians secured a 7-5 victory in the opening game of the series, thanks in large part to Tyler Freeman’s three-run homer.

On Saturday afternoon, the Guardians will entrust the pitching duties to right-hander Triston Mackenzie. Mackenzie’s season has been marred by injuries, which played a significant role in the team’s inability to secure a playoff spot this year. With just three starts under his belt this season as he recovered from shoulder problems, Mackenzie holds a record of 0-2. In 11.2 innings pitched, he has conceded nine hits and carries an ERA of 6.17. Mackenzie boasts an impressive K/9 rate of 11.6, but his WHIP stands at 1.63. In his first start in three months last Sunday, Mackenzie struggled with control, walking six batters and failing to make it out of the second inning.


Tigers Notes

As the final weekend of the series approaches, the Detroit Tigers find themselves with two compelling motivations. Firstly, they will bid farewell to the illustrious career of former MVP and Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera. Secondly, they are determined to secure the coveted second place in the AL Central standings. This achievement holds great significance for a team currently in the midst of a rebuilding phase, striving to reclaim their position at the top of the division.

In the opening game on Friday night, the Tigers suffered a 7-5 defeat at the hands of the Guardians, leaving them in a tie for second place in the AL Central.

For Saturday’s matinee against the Guardians, the Tigers have yet to announce their starting pitcher. They have a pool of potential candidates to choose from. Right-handed pitcher Zach Logue has been called up but has not made an appearance since his stint as a starter in the minor leagues this season. Brenan Hanifee is another viable option, having had several days of rest since his last two-inning outing against the A’s on September 21st. Given the versatility of their pitching staff, it is likely that Saturday’s game will be managed as a bullpen effort.


Final Thoughts/Pick

The Guardians appear content as the season nears its conclusion, while the Tigers seem determined to secure a high divisional finish, offering them added motivation for the upcoming offseason. This upcoming match is poised to be a battle of bullpens, as the Guardians will rely on Mackenzie, who has only pitched 1.2 innings since June and is unlikely to go beyond three innings in this situation. The Tigers, on the other hand, have not yet named their starter, and they may opt for an opener strategy, utilizing multiple pitchers. The strong drive to finish the season on a high note for the legendary teammate Cabrera will be a significant motivator, while the Cleveland team, playing away from home in the season’s closing stages, might find their motivation waning.

Our Pick: Take Tigers and the Money Line

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