May 23, 2018: Tigers at Twins Fantasy Preview
The American League Central is the worst division in baseball. The Cleveland Indians seem to be, on paper, the cream of the crop, but it remains a race without a true leader. The two teams with the best chance to catch the Tribe, the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers, wrap up a big three-game series in Minneapolis on Wednesday afternoon.
Kyle Gibson (1-2, 3.96 ERA) had been on a streak of solid outings before he was knocked around by the Brewers on Friday. However, the 30-year-old tends to stay out of trouble as long as he keeps the ball in the park. That shouldn’t be a problem in this one. The Tigers have hit the third-fewest home runs in baseball and it’s tough to reach the fences at Target Field.
Detroit will hand the ball to Michael Fulmer (1-3, 4.35 ERA), who bounced back against the Mariners last week after two rough starts before that. In his two career starts in Minnesota, Fulmer has a 3.00 ERA and Twins hitters have struggled to a .234/.265/.340 batting line.
Better play: Gibson. The Twins starter is more consistent, pitching in a park that reinforces his strengths and will be facing the weaker offense.
Who should start
- Eddie Rosario has had a fantastic month of May. He still isn’t walking enough but he has made up for it by hitting .364 since the end of April. Not to mention he has a home run and two runs scored in limited chances against Gibson.
- John Hicks should be taken advantage of while he is getting playing time. He has done well in Miguel Cabrera’s absence but could be relegated to bench duty soon. Cabrera is taking batting practice this week and could return to the lineup shortly thereafter.
Who should sit
- Nick Castellanos has been Detroit’s best hitter for most of the season, but he struggles against Gibson. In 32 career at-bats, Castellanos has just six hits and 10 strikeouts.
- Logan Morrison probably isn’t playing much for your team anyway. Keep it that way. He’s not providing any power at the moment and is just 2-for-11 off of Fulmer in his career.
Twins win a relatively low-scoring affair. Neither team is particularly hot at the moment, but Minnesota gets the nod for playing at home against a Tigers team that has struggled mightily outside of Detroit this season (8-17 road record).