If the Detroit Tigers are going to bust out of their hitting funk this weekend, they'll have to do it against one of baseball's better pitching staffs.
The Tigers, 15-15, head start as four-game series Thursday against the 16-15 Oakland Athletics, who, according to the numbers, boast one of the AL's stiffer set of arms.
When it comes to team stats, the A's are third in the AL in ERA (3.47); tied for fourth in quality starts (18); sixth in batting average against (.241); tied for first in shutouts (4).
The Tigers have a solid staff of their own: They haven't given up more than four runs this month. But of late it's not the pitching that's been the problem. Detroit is averaging just three runs per game over its last seven. In each of the team's last four losses, it gave up three runs or fewer.
Max Scherzer will start for Detroit on Thursday. He is 1-3 with a 6.32 ERA despite having 36 strikeouts in 31.1 innings.
Bartolo Colon, who has a 2.83 ERA and a 3-2 record, will take the hill for Oakland.
Detroit is currently two games back of the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central.
Thursday's first pitch is scheduled for 10:05 ET.
For more on the Detroit Tigers, check out Bless You Boys. You can also head over to SB Nation's main MLB hub at Baseball Nation, or check out SB Nation's YouTube channel: