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New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers: Series Preview

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Can the Yankees pick up a series win against the team with the worst record in the majors?

Philadelphia Phillies v Detroit Tigers Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

For Yankees fans, the struggles of the 2019 Orioles are no secret. The Bombers teed off on the O’s across 19 games, setting all sorts of records. Now here’s a fun fact: the Yankees’ next opponent, the Tigers, have a worse record than Baltimore.

Over the weekend, Detroit became the first team of the season to reach 100 losses. They had a .500-ish start to the season, including taking two of three in Yankee Stadium. Since the end of April, however, they’ve won 29 games. Total.

While the Orioles’ awfulness is most noticed in their pitching, Detroit is comically bad at the plate. Only three members of their current roster have an OPS+ of over 100, which is league average. One is Victor Reyes, who is at 103 in only 199 at bats. The other two are pitchers.

On paper, the Yankees have a big edge going into this series. Like the Orioles’ games of 2018, however, the games aren’t played on paper. So, ahead of the series kicking off tonight, let’s take a look at the pitching matchups for the next few games.

Tuesday: TBD vs. Edwin Jackson

The Yankees will likely be using an opener/bullpen game tonight. Last time they did that, six pitchers combined to allow just one run on seven hits to the Rangers.

Meanwhile, Edwin Jackson will be pitching for Detroit, against one of the few teams for which he’s never played. His 7.22 ERA as a Tiger has actually lowered his 2019 total.

Wednesday: CC Sabathia vs. Matthew Boyd

For many years, the Tigers were a division opponent for Sabathia, and now he’ll be making his final start against them. This will be his first start off yet another IL stint in what has been a stop-start, subpar final season for him.

Former trade rumor fodder Boyd has had a pretty rough last couple weeks. Since the start of August, he’s allowed 29 earned runs in seven starts. When these teams met in New York back in April, however, he struck out 13 while allowing one run in 6.1 innings.

Thursday: J.A. Happ vs. Spencer Turnbull

Over his last couple starts, Happ has been...not terrible. Across his last three outings, he’s allowed three runs on five hits in 17.1 innings. All of those runs came in the first of those three games, too. By game score, his last three starts were his best of the season. He has had other solid stretches at points this season too, only for things to revert. That being said, hopefully this is him peaking at the right time as opposed to one of a couple bright spots in a downer of a year.

Turnbull is in his second major league season, and his first full one. By ERA, he’s been the Tigers’ second-best starter, but it’s still a barely above average one at 4.68. This will be his first appearance against the Yankees, having missed them back in April. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that his numbers against teams over .500 are worse than his overall ones.