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Know Your Enemy: Detroit Tigers

It’s the top three healthy starters vs. a whole lotta TBD in Motown.

Baltimore Orioles v Detroit Tigers Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Finally, baseball is back. After a tense labor lockout bookended by two fascinating periods of free agency, the regular season is here.

For the Chicago White Sox, they will begin their 162-game odyssey in a very familiar place: Detroit’s Comerica Park against the division rival Tigers. While the White Sox will be looking to once again run away with the AL Central, Detroit had a far less successful 2021 and will be hoping for substantial improvement as they exit their rebuilding phase.

The Tigers went through five agonizing losing seasons in a row, and they clearly have had enough. Detroit was one of the five biggest spenders in free agency, and it feels pretty good about their additions. Opening Day starter Eduardo Rodriguez came over from the Boston Red Sox to be a stabilizing veteran influence aiming to stabilize a promising rotation. As well, they acquired outfielder Austin Meadows from the Tampa Bay Rays and landed free agent Javier Baez with a six-year, $140 million pact. These reinforcements beef up a surprisingly tough out of a team from the 2021 season that featured pitchers Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal.

An addition possibly bigger than all of those, however, might be the calling up of 2020 first overall pick Spencer Torkelson. A rookie getting put on the Opening Day roster is always a big deal, and this is one with a great draft pedigree and ability to hit for both contact and power.

Pitching Matchups

Friday (12:10 p.m.): Lucas Giolito vs. Eduardo Rodriguez
Saturday (12:10 p.m.): Dylan Cease vs. TBD
Sunday (12:10 p.m.): Michael Kopech vs. TBD

Did You Know?

Detroit authored two of the worst seasons in the modern era of Major League Baseball, in 2003 (43-119) and 2019 (47-114). This stands in stark contrast to their first five decades in the American League, where they were a model winning franchise since 1901.