Baseball

2021 Detroit Tigers Home Opener Series Preview

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The 2021 Detroit Tigers are an interesting case study. They’ve finished last in the American League Central three times in four years and could be one of the American League’s worst again this season.

But there is hope in the form of a talented pool of prospects and young players like Spencer Torkelson arriving as well as the hiring of A.J. Hinch as the team’s manager.

Injury Report

The 2021 Detroit Tigers will open their season with a three game set against their Central Division rivals the Cleveland Indians.

For the Tigers, Rony Garcia, set to undergo an appendectomy, will likely be out until at least April 25. Garcia made his Major League Debut in 2020 with a 1-0 record and an 8.14 ERA to go with a He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers from the New York Yankees in the 2019 rule 5 draft.

Spencer Turnbull a possible in the Tigers starting rotation, could be out for a while after it revealed he was was on non-baseball (COVID-19 protocol) injured list. Manager A.J. Hinch said that it could be a few series before we see him and that the end of April is possibility. Turnbull started 11 games for the Tigers in 2020 and had a 4-4 record with a 3.97 ERA to go with 51 strikeouts and a 1.341 WHIP.

For the Cleveland Indians, Cam Hill is expected to be out until at least May 31. Hill made his debut in 2020 going 2-0 with a 4.91 ERA in 18 appearances.

A.J. Hinch Looks To Steer 2021 Detroit Tigers Ship In the Right Direction

Having served his one year suspension for his involvement in the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal as the team’s manager and being fired by Houston when Major League Baseball revealed its findings, Detroit offers Hinch a chance to start fresh and put right his career.

He did manage the Astros over five seasons, getting them to the World Series twice and winning it in 2017.

What Hinch brings to this young Detroit team in the midst of a rebuild is a long record of managerial experience that will help guide this team.

Pitching Matchups

In yesterday’s opener against the Indians, it was Matthew Boyd against Shane Bieber. Bieber should be no stranger to baseball fans as he won the 2020 American League Cy Young Winner. He opened the delayed 2020 campaign on July 24. He pitched six innings of a 2-0 shutout en route to a 1.63 ERA and 14.20 K/9 in 12 starts.

This will be the second year in a row that Matthew Boyd was named the starter for the 2021 Detroit Tigers’ first game. Boyd did not have a good 2020 season as he had 12 total starts to go with a 3-7 record.

A 6.71 ERA, a 1.48 WHIP are poor numbers for Boyd who also allowed 45 earned runs against 60 strikeouts.

Detroit would eventually top the Tribe by a final of 3-2 in what became a battle in a blizzard.

In Game Two on Saturday it is Julio Teheran for the 2021 Detroit Tigers against Zach Plesac for the Indians. Teheran had a disastrous 2020 for the Los Angeles Angels. He signed a one year deal there and went 0-4 with an ERA over 10. If he wins even a couple of games and cuts his ERA by half it would be a victory for both him and the Tigers.

With the Atlanta Braves Teheran had six straight Opening Day starts and had a 3.67 ERA and a WHIP of 1.211. in nine seasons.

Zach Plesac had a 2.28 ERA in eight starts in 2020. That was his second season after a 2019 debut where he was in 8-6 with a 3.81 ERA.

Sunday’s game sees Tarik Skubal go against Aaron Civale for the Indians. Skubal is an interesting case for the 2021 Detroit Tigers since we see the promise in his talent and his physical skills but he has a ways to go to progress as a starter. It will be interesting to see how A.J. Hinch manages Skubal because we know what tools he has to offer. He was 1-4 with a 5.63 ERA in 8 starts in 2020.

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Ben has been closely following sports since the late 1980s and began writing about them in the 90s. Armed with a BA, an associate certificate, and a diploma, he brings a highly educated perspective to sports betting. Specializing in hockey, baseball, and tech, Ben has contributed many outlets and is a frequent contributor to the CKNW radio station.