Friday, September 30, 2011

Thoughts on the Detroit Tigers and postseason baseball

The key for the Tigers is their starting pitching getting deep into games.
Justin Verlander is very likely to do this. Doug Fister has been, but he hasn't faced a lineup remotely like the Yankees since coming to Detroit. After Phil Coke, Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde, the Tigers' bullpen is questionable. Alberto Alburquerque could be the wild card in the equation.
Brad Penny was put on the postseason roster because he has pitched relatively well out of the bullpen in long relief in the past in playoffs. Four of his eight postseason appearances have been in relief. I don't know if it was the right decision, though. David Pauley has had some reasonable success pitching against the Yankees in his career (2-3 record, 4.43 ERA).
Obviously Alburquerque is capable, but his injury issues are a question mark. So is the Tigers' range defensively at multiple positions.
David Robinson has had a great year for the Yankees in the bullpen. One interesting development was Luis Ayala getting hit so hard in the season-finale at Tampa Bay. Will that carryover to the postseason. He had been pitching very well for NY before that.

- Stat: Of the Tigers final 51 games, 47 were played against teams that finished the season below .500. The exception was the Tampa Bay series in early September when the Tigers won 3-of-4. In those 51 games, the Tigers compiled a 36-15 record. They rarely faced a team the caliber of the Yankees during their surge to the postseason.

- Prediction department: I have the Tigers beating the Yankees in five games; the Rangers beating the Rays in four. In the NL, I have the Phillies sweeping the Cardinals in three and the Brewers beating the Diamondbacks in four.

I have the Phillies over the Rangers in the World Series.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a bad predition, Pat, you're on the right side of the odds except the Bronx Bombers.

Here's where one could make money beating the odds.

Milwaukee upsets the Phils as they have a weak middle bullpen and arguably an average closer in Lidge although Manuel is in love with him.

Milwaukee beats Yanks for title.

11:21 AM 
Anonymous woody said...

i agree...Fister and Verlander need to make the middle relievers irrelevent to the outcome of their games. considering the selectivity of the yankee hitters, suspect that Verlander will be approaching the 120-130 pitch range to get through 7. it's gonna be a grind.

For an ace, Sabathia is surprisingly hittable. He can litter the bases with runners and still put a zero on the board. The Tigers should have some good scoring'll be interesting to see who can produce in those spots other than Cabrera and Martinez.

Rays and Brewers in the series. Brewers win it. Tigers and Dbacks would be a great matchup.

2:03 PM 

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