Detroit Tigers (43-70) vs. Chicago White Sox (56-56)
When: 7:10 p.m. Friday.
Where: Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.
TV: Bally Sports Detroit.
Radio: WXYT-AM (1270) (Tigers radio affiliates).
Probable pitchers: Tigers LHP Daniel Norris (0-4, 6.90 ERA) vs. White Sox RHP Michael Kopech (4-8, 3.38 ERA).
First-pitch forecast: Cloudy, low-70s.
WELCOME BACK, DANIEL:Norris to serve as 16th starting pitcher this season
1. Riley Greene, CF
2. Willi Castro, RF
3. Javier Baez, SS
4. Harold Castro, 1B
5. Miguel Cabrera, DH
6. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
7. Eric Haase, C
8. Jonathan Schoop, 2B
9. Akil Baddoo, LF
Game notes: When the Tigers and Michael Kopech met July 10, the 26-year-old was coming off a four-game stretch in which he’d allowed 16 earned runs and 34 baserunners in just 21 innings. Kopech’s 5⅓ innings at Comerica Park, however, seemed to right what ailed him (as innings against the Tigers offense have for so many pitchers in 2022), with the righty holding the home squad to two runs on four hits and three walks.
Since then, Kopech has mostly been sharp — four earned runs over three starts from July 15-Aug. 1 — before giving up four in just 3⅓ innings Saturday in Arlington, Texas. Lucikly for Kopech, here come the Tigers, averaging three runs a game this month, just in time to give him a shot in the arm once again.
Kopech relies heavily on his four-seam fastball (which is very good, averaging 94.9 mph with a run value of minus-6) and his slider (which, uh, is not, with a run value of plus-1). The four-seamer (61.5%) and the slider (26.5%) account for 88% of his pitches; a curve that averages 78.4 mph accounts for nearly all (11.1%) of the rest. The Tigers’ active roster is just 7-for-36 off Kopech all-time, but that includes two triples, one by Willi Castro in 2021 and one by Victor Reyes in 2022, while Javier Baez and Jeimer Candelario each have a homer off him.
Speaking of reunions, left-hander Daniel Norris makes his return to the Tigers as the 16th starter used by the franchise this season (tying the 1913, 1953 and 1996 squads for second in franchise history, and only one behind the 1912 Tigers’ all-time mark). After a mostly awful run with the Brewers and Cubs since the 2021 trade deadline, Norris faces a squad he knows all too well, with a 4.33 ERA in 54 career innings against the ChiSox. That includes 10 hits allowed in 23 plate appearances by Jose Abreu — four singles, four doubles and two homers. Then again, avoiding the 2020 American League MVP in the middle of the White Sox order is like ordering a hot dog in Chicago with ketchup — just because you want to doesn’t mean you CAN.
The Tigers and ChiSox continue their series on the South Side with a night game Saturday followed by an afternoon game Sunday. After that, the Tigers are off to Cleveland for a four-games-in-three-days series vs. the, ahem, AL Central-leading Guardians, while the Sox get a visit from another division leader, the Houston Astros.
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