Pittsburgh Pirates: Previewing Three-Game Interleague Clash vs Tigers

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Apr 14, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Tyler Anderson (31) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 14, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Tyler Anderson (31) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Game One
Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Time: 6:40 PM EST
Pitching Matchup: Tyler Anderson (4.02 ERA, 4.57 FIP) vs Michael Fulmer (3.00 ERA, 4.60 FIP)

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers will kick their series off on Tuesday night. Lefty Tyler Anderson will look to continue his early season success for the Pirates, while righty Michael Fulmer will be looking to do the same for the Tigers.

Through his first three starts this season Anderson has struck out 14 batters and walked just 4 in 15.1 innings of work. The big bugaboo for Anderson thus far has been the home run ball, allowing 3 thus far to give him a HR/9 of 1.72.

Fulmer has pitched four times thus far this season, but just one of those four outings was a start. While he has posted a strong 3.00 ERA, he is due to regress. He is allowing a 35.5% hard hit rate and 88.3 MPH exit velocity, both of which are worse than league average. He has allowed 3 home runs in 12 innings pitched (2.25 HR/9), and his batting average on balls in play of .143 is nearly 150 points below the league average of .300. The Pirates will be hoping for Fulmer’s regression to begin on Tuesday night.

So far this season Anderson has been Pittsburgh’s second best starting pitcher. Quietly, Anderson has pitched really well limiting opponents to an 86.2 MPH exit velocity and a 40.8% ground ball rate. On paper, the Pittsburgh Pirates have the pitching advantage for game one.