Detroit Tigers face critical home stand in quest to avoid being worst team in franchise history
Tigers have 11 straight home games against losing teams
DETROIT – As the Detroit Tigers watched their winning percentage dip below .300 this weekend in Texas, they now sit four games back of Baltimore Orioles for last place in the overall MLB standings.
No, the Tigers aren't really in a race with any of the other MLB teams. But they are in a potential race with franchise history.
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With just six wins in their last 38 games, the Tigers' recent pace would put them at 40 or 41 wins by the end of the 2019 season. That would be the worst record in franchise history, edging out the 2003 team that finished 43-119.
There are still a ton of difficult games remaining, including four with the Houston Astros, 10 with the Minnesota Twins, six with the Cleveland Indians and three each with the Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.
Wins will be hard to come by when those teams hit the schedule in mid-August. That means the upcoming 11-game home stand will be critical in the race to 43 wins.
Ironically, the Tigers' downward spiral began during a long home stand. The team was 18-20 and coming off a road series win over the first-place Twins before a winless 10-game home stand.
On the season, the Tigers are a league-worst 13-36 at home. That will have to change when a trio of terrible American League opponents visit over the next two weeks.
First, the Tigers will host the division rival Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals for back-to-back four-game series.
Kansas City has lost six straight games and is 40-73 on the season. Chicago is 48-61 and owns the third-worst run differential in baseball.
Then, the Tigers will host the Seattle Mariners for three games. Seattle is 47-67 and owns the fifth-worst run differential in the league. The Mariners swept a four-game series against the Tigers in late July.
If the Tigers can rack up four or five wins in 11 games, they'll be on a good pace to finish ahead of the 2003 team. If they only win two games, which would be similar to their last 38-game pace, it could be a stressful final six weeks against much tougher competition.
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