Athletics' righty Paul Blackburn looks to continue strong start against the Tigers

The Oakland Athletics are set to take on the Detroit Tigers this afternoon
Cleveland Guardians v Oakland Athletics
Cleveland Guardians v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Paul Blackburn will look to continue his strong start to the year as the Oakland A's take on the Detroit Tigers this afternoon.

Blackburn had an outstanding start against the Red Sox last time out, throwing 7 shutout innings and notching 3 strikeouts. He'll be looking to build off a solid performance in 2023 as well.

The righty finished last year with a 3.96 FIP in 103.2 innings while working around issues with his throwing hand. He's been good when available and showed off some of that potential earlier in the week.

The A's will take on a hot Tigers team that's coming into today's matchup with a 6-1 record and a +17 run differential. They haven't exactly faced stiff competition, winning both series' against the White Sox and the Mets.

But the Tigers are, for many, a dark horse candidate to compete for the AL Central division title this year. They've been suffering through an almost 10 year rebuilding process that hasn't gone well.

Last year, they fired their existing GM, Al Avila, and brought in Scott Harris who has made a number of changes on the field and in the front office.

The Tigers' future seems to be pointing up. The same can't be said for the A's, unfortunately, who come into today's matchup at 1-7. Their -30 run differential is tied for 28th in the league. The Marlins are also at -30, while the Rockies sit last at -31.

The Tigers send righty Kenta Maeda to the mound today. He won't be the most difficult opponent. As the A's look for any opportunities to get the bats going, today might be as good a chance as any to get the ship back on track.

Maeda allowed 6 runs on 7 hits, including 3 homers last time out against the White Sox. If that team can get the bats going against him, maybe the A's can too.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:10pm PDT today.