Tigers at Guardians Preview Game 1 | 6:10 PM. EST. 5/8/23

May 8, 2023

Andy Billman

Tigers come into Progressive Field for 3 game series

3 things preview Tigers and Guardians Series Game 1:

1 – The Killer B’s

The starting rotation of Tanner Bibee, Shane Bieber, and Peyton Battenfield, in that order, will be going against the Tigers this week, the Guardians version of the Killer B’s. 

2 – Runs wanted

Both the Tigers and Guardians are having a hard time plating runs in 2023.  The Guardians are 3rd worst and the Tigers are next to last in MLB in runs scored. 

3 – More line-up tinkering?

On Sunday, Myles Straw was moved up to the two hole which did result in two runs being scored in the first inning, but nothing else.  I get the feeling Tito Francona will be making more changes to the line-up, to figure out how to get more runs on the board.  

Guardians Notes

The Guardians have won their last two games against the Twins, bringing their record to 5-5 over their last ten games. This series will be the second of three consecutive home games, marking their longest stretch of home games for the season. During their recent three-game series against Minnesota, the Guardians allowed only five runs. Overall, their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.75 over 34 games, and their bullpen boasts a 3.22 ERA, which ranks sixth in the league. On Sunday, Emmanuel Clase earned his league-leading 12th save, contributing to the team’s 14 saves, the most in baseball. Tanner Bibee, the starting pitcher for Monday’s game, has only made two starts but has allowed only three earned runs over 11 innings and has recorded 13 strikeouts without issuing a walk.

Despite scoring only six runs against the Twins, the Guardians’ offense managed to produce 18 hits during the series. They remain the last team in baseball to hit 20 home runs, with only 18 thus far, placing them at the bottom of the league. Three players are tied for the team lead with three home runs each. Jose Ramirez is among the three, and he also leads the team in batting average (.283), hits (37), doubles (9), and OPS (.799). The third baseman has recorded hits in all six games played in May and has a batting average of .333 over his last 12 games.

Guards Stats and Insights


  • Bibee has a record of 1-1-0 ATS in two starts with a spread this season.
  • The right-hander last pitched on Tuesday against the New York Yankees, throwing 5 1/3 innings and giving up two earned runs.
  • Bibee will look to finish five or more innings for the third start in a row.
  • Bibee’s team won his only start as a favorite this season.
  • Bibee’s team is 1-1 when he starts this season.
  • In the two games with a total started by Bibee this season, the teams did not hit the over both times.


  • The Guardians have a 3-1 record this season in games when they hit two or more homers.
  • Cleveland has gone 2-1 in its three games this season with at least five extra-base hits.
  • The team has strung together eight or more hits in 16 games this season and is 10-6 in those contests.
  • Cleveland is 8-2 in games this season when it scored at least five runs.
  • The Guardians have drawn five or more walks in 11 games this season, and are 8-3 in those contests.

Tigers Notes

The Tigers’ season-high five-game winning streak came to a halt with their loss on Sunday. Despite Jake Rogers hitting a grand slam to give them a 6-3 lead in the sixth, the Cardinals scored seven runs in the bottom half of the inning to clinch the victory. The Tigers’ bullpen has the 11th-highest ERA in the league at 4.21 through 33 games. In his upcoming start, Joey Wentz will have made his seventh start of the season and has a 2-4 record. He has given up multiple runs in all but one of his starts and has allowed six home runs. Furthermore, Wentz has not pitched more than 86 pitches in any of his last three starts.

As a team, the Tigers have a batting average of .229, ranking fourth worst in the league, and have hit only 29 home runs, the fourth fewest in baseball. Among the Tigers’ starters, Riley Greene has the highest batting average at .262 with 34 hits, two doubles, two triples, and three home runs. He has scored 18 runs and driven in 12. However, he went hitless in four at-bats on Sunday, ending his 10-game hitting streak. In the previous series against Cleveland, Greene went 4-for-13 with two runs, a home run, and an RBI.

Tigers Stats and Insights


  • Wentz makes the start for the Tigers, his seventh of the season. He is 0-3 with a 6.67 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings pitched.
  • The left-hander’s last time out was on Wednesday against the New York Mets, when he threw six innings, surrendering five earned runs while allowing nine hits.
  • Wentz will aim to pitch five or more innings for his third straight start. He’s averaging 4.7 frames per outing.
  • The Tigers have a 3-4 record in Wentz’s seven starts this season when they were the underdog on the moneyline.
  • Wentz’s team has a 2-4 record in his starts this season.
  • Wentz has had seven starts that sportsbooks set a total for this season, and five of those games finished over the total.


  • They’ve hit two or more homers in seven games this season and are 4-3 in those matchups.
  • Detroit has won four of its five games with five or more extra-base hits this season.
  • They have won 11 of the 15 games in which they’ve collected eight or more hits this season.
  • Detroit has won nine of its 11 games this season in which it scored more than four runs.
  • They have won three of their seven games this season in which they’ve drawn more than four free passes.

Final Thoughts

During this season’s three matchups between the Tigers and the Guardians, each game was decided by a single run. The Tigers were victorious in the first two games played at their home ground, while the Guardians managed to win the last game of the series in mid-April. Bibee has been quite impressive in his first two MLB starts, having struck out eight batters and allowed only one earned run in his debut. As his debut was at home, he appears to be comfortable pitching there. Bibee will have the opportunity to pitch against one of the weakest offenses in baseball. Wentz will also have the pleasure of facing the Guardians lineup, but the hosts have been hitting much better at home, and they come into this game with good momentum, having won three of their last four games at home. The Tigers have a poor track record in Cleveland, having won only 16 of their last 63 games played there.

Need to keep the bats going and continue seeing strong pitching from both the starters and relievers to win this series!

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