Guardians (76-85) vs. Tigers (77-84) Game Preview | 10/1 3:10 PM EST

October 1, 2023

Andy Billman

Final Game of the Year vs.The Detroit Tigers

3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Francona’s Final Game

Thank you, Tito!  His final game as a Cleveland skipper is today, and he will leave a winner.  His record heading into Sunday’s game is 921 victories to 756 defeats.

2 – 22 Wins in a Row

Never forget that he was the manager in 2017 when the Indians won 22 games in a row, the largest streak in club history.  The 2017 Tribe went over the 100-win mark with 102 victories.  The second most victories in a season in the history of Cleveland baseball.

3 – The 2016 Run

One of my favorite games in the 2016 run with Terry was game one against Boston.  I was at the game, and it felt like the Red Sox would blow the doors off the Tribe when Francona removed Trevor Bauer for Andrew Miller in the top of the 5th inning with Cleveland hanging on to a one-run lead.  Miller gave up a double and a walk before striking out hall of famer David Ortiz and the place went crazy! 

Miller going out that early was never even thought of as a possibility, and with Miller giving up a double and a walk, it seemed like the move was doomed, we were wrong.  Baseball experts later hailed that move.  This is just one of the many examples of how smart Francona is as a manager.

Guardians Notes

The Cleveland Guardians are aiming to secure a victory for manager Terry Francona in his farewell game as the team’s skipper. Additionally, they are striving to tie for second place with the Tigers if they emerge victorious in the season’s last match. Heading into Sunday’s finale, the Guardians have faced some challenges, having lost four of their last six games, including a disappointing 8-0 defeat on Saturday. The series has been evenly split with one win for each team as they approach the decisive Sunday matchup.

Taking the mound for Cleveland in this season’s final game is Lucas Giolito. Giolito has had a rather eventful season, starting with his long-standing tenure with the White Sox in Chicago before being traded to the Angels just prior to the trade deadline. However, his stint in Anaheim proved to be short-lived, as he was released by the Angels at the end of August. In a last-minute effort to bolster their playoff prospects, Cleveland acquired the right-handed pitcher. In his five starts with Cleveland leading up to the final game, Giolito has posted a 1-3 record. He has allowed 23 hits over 25.2 innings pitched and currently holds an ERA of 6.66.


  • Giolito (8-14 with a 4.87 ERA and 200 strikeouts in 179 1/3 innings pitched) makes the start for the Guardians, his 33rd of the season.
  • In his most recent appearance on Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds, the right-hander threw 3 1/3 innings, allowing five earned runs while surrendering four hits.
  • Giolito has put up 26 starts this year where he pitched five or more innings.
  • He has held his opponents without an earned run in four of his 32 appearances this season.
  • The Guardians have a 5-15 record in Giolito’s 20 starts this season when they were the underdog on the moneyline.
  • Over Giolito’s 32 starts, his team is 10-23.
  • Giolito’s starts hit the over on the run total 16 times in 33 games with a set total this season.

Tigers Notes

The Detroit Tigers are holding on to a one-game lead over the Guardians for second place in the division, a significant accomplishment for a team that has spent recent years dwelling near the bottom. Nevertheless, Sunday’s game is set to revolve around the retirement of Miguel Cabrera. In Saturday’s 8-0 victory, Cabrera not only doubled in a run but also scored one, all of this coming after a pre-game ceremony in which the team honored him. Sunday promises to be yet another day filled with celebrations for the Tigers as they strive to secure their position in the AL Central Division’s second place.

Taking the mound for the Tigers in the season finale will be Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez has posted a record of 12-9 in 25 starts this season, including 13 quality starts. He has allowed 124 hits in 145.2 innings pitched, maintaining a solid 3.40 ERA. Rodriguez boasts a K/9 rate of 8.5 and a WHIP of 1.17. In his home games, he holds a 4-4 record in 10 starts, with four quality starts, having allowed 47 hits in 58.1 innings pitched and sporting an ERA of 3.55. He appears to be the perfect choice to close out the season against the Guardians, especially considering his impeccable record of 3-0 in three starts against them this year. In those games, he has surrendered only 12 hits in 21.2 innings and boasts an impressive ERA of 0.69.


  • Rodríguez’s team is 14-11-0 against the spread this season in his starts.
  • The left-hander’s last start was on Sunday, when he tossed seven innings without allowing a run on five hits in a matchup with the Oakland Athletics.
  • Rodriguez has 20 starts of five or more innings this season in 25 chances. He averages 5.8 innings per outing.
  • He has finished six appearances without allowing an earned run in 25 chances this season.
  • Rodriguez’s team has been victorious in 54.5% of the games he’s started as the moneyline favorite with a record of 6-5.
  • Rodríguez’s team has won 13 of his 25 starts this season.
  • Out of Rodríguez’s 25 starts with a total this season, 11 have hit the over.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Everything appears to be falling into place for the Tigers this Sunday. They are in dire need of a victory to climb three positions in the standings compared to the previous season and secure second place. Adding to their advantage, Eduardo Rodriguez takes the mound this season, and the southpaw has exerted his dominance over the Guardians. In all three of his starts against them, he has delivered exceptional performances, boasting a sub-one ERA.

However, the most significant moment of the day revolves around the Tigers bidding farewell to their future Hall-of-Famer, Miguel Cabrera, as he wraps up his illustrious career. Anticipate an emotionally charged game centered on these veteran stars. The Guardians are expected to graciously step aside, allowing the highly respected Cabrera to have his well-deserved moment. Consequently, the Guardians are likely to succumb to the Tigers, bringing a disappointing season to a close.

Our Pick: Take Tigers and the Money Line

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