The St. Louis Cardinals will head up to the Motor City in hopes of securing a few victories. They currently sit at 3rd place in the NL Central after a rough month of June. The Cardinals just finished a four-game series in Atlanta, winning just 1 of the 4 games. The Cardinals travel to Detroit in need of wins.
This two-game series will be big for each team, but especially for the Cardinals. Before sweeping the Marlins earlier last week, they had lost 11 of their last 13 and struggled mightily against the division rivals Cubs and Reds. They are still trying to find their groove, and maybe they will against the subpar Tigers.
The Detroit Tigers are in last place in the AL Central with a record of 30-42. They were able to salvage the series against the Angels by winning the last game on Sunday but have only won 4 of their last 10. The Tigers team is still in rebuild mode but is looking to stay competitive in a tough division with the White Sox and Indians leading the way.
The Cardinals Offense Has Disappointed After A Promising Start
St. Louis boasts two top 10 MVP candidates in their lineup but is ranked 26th in average and 22nd in runs. Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt both started out hot this year but have slumped as of late. The Cardinal’s top 7 hitters are all hitting between .250 and .276, which is not good enough in today’s MLB, where offense is needed to win games.
They come into Detroit with a record of 36-36, 3.5 games back of the Brewers and Cubs for first. St. Louis will need to get the bats going in this series to take home a few victories. Tyler O’Neil has been a bright spot for the offense with a .276 average and 15 bombs so far. Arenado was able to launch a home run on Sunday’s first game and will look to continue that trend.
As for the defense, it has not been the consistent fielding as we would’ve hoped for. They are tied for 22nd in the majors in fielding percentage, but it seems as if an error always bites the Cardinals in these close games. Pitching has been in the middle of the pack and has been the best part about this Cardinal team all year.
The Detroit Tigers Are Not Very Good But Pose a Threat to The Inconsistent Cardinals
The Tigers have been one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball for the past few years. This year is no different. They have very few young players in the majors and are still trying to build up their farm system. We are still in the first half of the season, but the Tigers are 13 games out of first place.
The offense has been led by Jonathan Schoop and Jeimer Candelario, who are both still averaging under .275. Schoop has been the best long-ball hitter for the Tigers, with 13 of them so far. Miguel Cabrera has hit in the four spot but isn’t getting any younger and having a below-average year all around. The Tigers will also need to swing the bat well if they want a chance to win either of these games.
The Tigers pitching staff has been under the league average, ranking 21st or higher in all major statistical categories. Casey Mize has been their best hurler with a .361 ERA and a 4-4 record. On the field, the Tigers are tied with the Cardinals for the 22nd spot in the MLB. These two teams have extremely similar stats, and it will be two important games for each ball club.
Pitcher Probables and Prediction
Tuesday, June 22nd: Tarik Skubal vs Johan Oviedo
Tarik Skubal has been on fire in his last four starts, with a 3-0 record and a .274 ERA to bring his season stats to 4-7 and a 4.36 ERA. Johan Oviedo is on the hunt for his first MLB win with an 0-2 record and a 4.58 ERA. Skubal is a lefty, and the Cardinals have many right-handed sluggers ready to hit. I’ll take the Cardinals in this one by 4 runs.
Wednesday, June 23rd: Matt Manning vs John Gant
Matt Manning is a young pitcher stepping in for injured Detroit starters and will look for his first MLB win after posting an 0-1 record and a 3.60 ERA as of yet. John Gant leads the majors in walks but still posts decent numbers with a 4-5 record and 3.50 ERA. I think the young Manning will get his first win at Comerica Park and take down the Cardinals with incredible pitching.