The Detroit Tigers and the host Oakland Athletics kick off a four-game series on Thursday, both clubs having improved significantly since the season’s early going.
When these teams meet for the first time since early July, it will be left-hander Tarik Skubal (Tigers) and right-hander Luis Medina (A’s) who take the mound. Two out of three games were played in Detroit, and Oakland came close to top.
With Thursday’s 4-2 road victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Detroit Tigers moved to 12-7 over their previous 19 games.
A 10-17 start in March/April and a 9-18 decline in June are primarily responsible for Detroit’s overall non-contending record. Aside from that, they’re 52-46, good for a.531 winning percentage and third in the majors behind only the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.
The season Skubal turned in despite not being able to throw until July 4 due to an elbow injury is a major reason for optimism for the Tigers in 2024. In his 2023 debut against the A’s, he showed promise by tossing four hitless innings while striking out six batters before being taken out of the game.
The 26-year-old has been outstanding this month, allowing no earned runs in five of his 13 starts. This month he has a 3-0 record, a 1.42 ERA, and 25 strikeouts in 19 innings. When facing the A’s, Skubal is 2-2 with a 2.42 ERA in five career starts.
The 24-year-old Medina, who pitched well in his last appearance as a bulk-innings reliever, will be his opponent. Seven of Medina’s 11 outs came by strikeout as he held the San Diego Padres to one earned run over 3 2/3 innings.
The A’s have lost seven in a row, but there is more to the race to the finish line than wins and losses. September was Oakland’s best month of the season, as the A’s went 7-11 (.389). It’s part of the A’s 21-39 second half, during which they’ve played 32 fewer games but won just four fewer games than they did in the first half (25-67).
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Detroit Tigers vs Oakland Athletics Game Information
- Date: 09/21/2023
- Time: 09:40 PM ET
- Location: O.co Coliseum.
- How to Watch Tigers vs Athletics: MLB.TV
- Live Stream: MLB.TV