Fantasy Preview: Twins vs Tigers 29th Sep 2017
Preview of the Twins vs. Detroit Tigers series starting 29th September @ Tigers.
The Minnesota Twins know they’ve clinched one of the two Wild Card spots in the American League postseason. What they don’t know is who their opponent will be; that all depends on how the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees close out their slate of regular season games this weekend.
Meanwhile, all the Detroit Tigers know is that they fell drastically short of their tempered expectations heading into this season. Optimistically, they should’ve in the hunt for the Wild Card spot that the Twins ended up clinching. However, few would have thought they’d be in the race for the lowest win total in the major league’s.
After an absolutely miserable month of September, it looks like the Tigers will finish their housecleaning that they started with Justin Verlander and Justin Upton.
They’ll spend the winter trying to drum up trade interest in second baseman Ian Kinsler, who might’ve had his toughest season since arrived to Detroit. He finished with his lowest slugging percentage (.414) and tied for his lowest OPS (.727) this season, as a member of the Tigers. His 52 RBI was the second lowest total of his career, and his 89 runs this year was his second lowest total in his past seven years.
If someone would be willing to take the remainder of Miguel Cabrera’s contract off Detroit’s hands, they’d be much obliged as well. A four-time AL batting champion, Cabrera is hitting .249 with 16 homers and 60 RBIs this season. Those are easily his lowest totals since he’s been a member of the Tigers as well.
The exact opposite can be said for two of Minnesota’s best hitters: first baseman Joe Mauer and second baseman Brian Dozier. They were two of the constants for this team during a roller-coaster season that finished with a happy ending. Dozier’s slash line of .265/.352/.485 was right around the career-best numbers he put up last year, and his 33 home runs puts him among the top 16 in the American League. Meanwhile, Mauer had a bit of a rejuvenation with this .305/.381/.417 slash line that was his best in three years.
Whoever the Twins face in their one-game minimum postseason, they’ll have the confidence of sending right-hander Ervin Santana to the mound to pitch. The workhorse pitcher had the most complete games pitched among all American League pitchers (five) and the second most innings pitched (211.1). His 3.28 ERA was among the top 10 pitchers who pitched at least 170 innings this year, as was his 16 wins.
Santana pitched five scoreless innings with just four hits allowed and a single strikeout during Minnesota’s loss against Cleveland in his last start, so even though he didn’t get the win, that was a solid tune-up game for the veteran, as he gets ready for the postseason.
Meanwhile, for Detroit, right hander Michael Fulmer became the de facto ace after Verlander was traded away. However, he just had season ending surgery on his arm, meaning he’ll be sidelined until spring training next year. The 24-year-old ended his sophomore season with a 10-12 record to go along with a 3.83 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 114:40 K:BB over 164.2 innings (25 starts).