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  1. I think you transposed Cano and Teixeira in the Yankees’ lineup section. Cano is a lefty and bats fifth while Teixeira is the switch-hitter who bats third.

    Comment by Greg — September 30, 2011 @ 11:41 am

  2. Good writeup, Paul. I think the Tigers’ rotation edge is being overstated by a lot of folks, and primarily under the misguided assumption that Verlander is that much better than Sabathia (and the fact that Fister has faced a total of two good Linwood since the break).

    It’s worth noting, however, that Romine was left off the roster in favor of Hughes. I don’t think that changes the bullpen/bench analysis at all, however.

    Comment by The Fallen Phoenix — September 30, 2011 @ 11:42 am

  3. So I see that Cano was moved to the three hole, but he’s still a lefty.

    Comment by Greg — September 30, 2011 @ 11:45 am

  4. I’m very interested to see if/how Hughes and Burnett are used in the bullpen this postseason. They were both much maligned as starters this year, for obvious reasons, but both can be pretty outstanding for 1-3 innings. Depending on how creatively Girardi uses them, they could be the best long-men out of the bullpen in the league.

    It’s unorthodox to say the least, but 4 innings of Nova/Garcia and 3 innings of Burnett/Hughes could very easily add up to an outstanding 7 innings of pitching. The Yankees have a lot of questions marks in their rotation, but their bullpen has the potential to be so ridiculous that it closes a lot of those gaps.

    Comment by Rex Manning Day — September 30, 2011 @ 11:52 am

  5. awesome write up from a dejected red sox fan……and paul is right cano has been moved to the 3-hole vs righties b/c of tex’s awful stats left-handed

    Comment by Jack — September 30, 2011 @ 11:54 am

  6. I have to laugh about Jeter once again being predicted to be the Yankees possible downfall. Meanwhile, you think Peralta a decent defensive shortstop. I know its popular to disparage Jeter’s defense, but do you really think he is worse than Johnny Peralta?

    With Peralta and Betemit, the Tigers might have the worst defensive left side I’ve ever seen….

    Comment by Jason — September 30, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

  7. Both FG and B-Ref have Peralta at +1 defensive WAR this year.

    Comment by buddy — September 30, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

  8. I think that is entirely meaningless without a measure of the error.

    Comment by Jason — September 30, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

  9. Honestly, Jeter’s numbers against righties aren’t terrible for a SS on the bad side of a platoon split. They’re pretty bad for a leadoff hitter though.

    His defense hasn’t been nearly as bad as you’re implying here. Look at the three year UZR splits, (6.4, -4.7, -6.5) and he’s below average but not awful. Not really fair to use his last two years of batting against righties but just ignore the last 3 years of defensive data.

    Comment by Nom Chompsky — September 30, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

  10. Tigers take the first two in NY and close it out in 4.

    Comment by Ryan — September 30, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

  11. Jeter is a perfectly average defensive shortstop. Always has been. He does some things really well (come in on balls, go back on pop ups, make all the plays he gets to) and he does some things poorly (go to his left). The narrative is that Jeter is the worst defensive shortstop ever though, and so he will always be….

    Comment by Jason — September 30, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

  12. Umm, Peralta is fine defensively at short. There’s no chance you have seen any Tigers game if you think otherwise. Betemit sucks there yes, but he’ll be taken out for Inge or Kelly if he has to late in games.

    Comment by Stringer Bell — September 30, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

  13. ::Shrug:: I don’t think anyone is saying that Verlander is SO much better than Sabathia. Fister is just a LOT better than Nova. Nova’s peripherals have been slightly worse than Porcello and Freddy Garcia has been even worse than that.

    The Yankees’ rotation is probably the worst in the playoffs, but it’ll hardly matter. Their offense/bullpen makes up for almost that entire deficiency and then some. I’m a diehard Tigers fan and I think it’s Yankees in 5.

    Comment by The Birchman — September 30, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

  14. I’ve seen Peralta play plenty, thank you.

    Comment by Jason — September 30, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

  15. Yet you can’t even spell his name correctly (or incorrectly, I suppose).

    Comment by Ryan — September 30, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

  16. I am really looking forward to Verlander pitching in the post-season again…he was okay as a rookie, and he’s struggled a bit down the stretch this season, but I really can’t see him flaming out…he’s been too focused this season. I’d give the Tigers the edge in game 1, but I can’t see Fister’s unholy streak continuing in game 2…soft tossers never seem to perform as well in cold weather as the flame throwers do. The key to the series, in my opinion, is whether good Max or bad Max shows up in game 3…he certainly has the ability to shut down any team in baseball, but he also has the ability to give up 7 runs in 3 innings. If Max wins game 3, the Tigers win the series, is my guess. Yankees are in for a tough series. I am disappointed in Leyland’s statement that Verlander won’t pitch in game 4, when Sabathia will be…I’d rather that it is left unanswered, than made so definitive…I cannot see any scenario in which Porcello defeats Sabathia.

    Comment by Ian — September 30, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

  17. Ryan,

    Haha, I never noticed Peralta spelled his first name wrong. Now I wonder if Jhonny is actually his name and not a nickname. I have an ex cousin-inlaw by the name of Johnny (not John). He is Costa Rican, and Costa Rican’s apparently like American names, but are sometimes unaware what is a real name and what is a nickname.

    ….I also no a girl who’s parents emigrated from China. Her name is Juliette (after Romeo and Juliette), but her mother spelled it “Gillette” on her birth certificate. …her nickname in college was “The best a man can get”.

    Comment by Jason — September 30, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

  18. *know

    Comment by Jason — September 30, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

  19. Great analysis. Hoping for a great series. Good luck Tigers fans and Go Yanks!

    Comment by whocarestom — September 30, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

  20. Ever since teams started shifting on Teixeira with right handed pitchers, he’s just seemed completely unable to get hits on balls in play. It’s ridiculous. For a guy who’s ostensibly a good hitter, I have to wonder at his seeming refusal to take the ball the other way when batting lefty.

    Comment by JimNYC — September 30, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

  21. I do think it’s kind of disingenuous to use his last two years worth of splits, when he’s so obivously been a better hitter since getting to 3000.

    Comment by JimNYC — September 30, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

  22. Going to the game tonight — cheapest tickets I could get were $190 a pop, but it’s worth it to see Sabbathia and Verlander.

    Comment by JimNYC — September 30, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

  23. Spanish doesn’t just borrow foreign words and keep the spelling the same, like English does. So yes, the spelling is intentional, to give the name the correct pronunciation.

    Comment by buddy — September 30, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

  24. The thing is that Verlander has never gone on short rest in his career. He’s pitched 250 innings this year, averaging 116 pitches per game. If they pitch him too much — and this is purely theoretical in Verlander’s case, since we’ve never seen any evidence of his being human, but it’s still possible — he could get fatigued, and less effective. Better to keep him in his rhythm, at least in the divisional series, if you want the best chance at winning the whole thing.

    Comment by buddy — September 30, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

  25. Does anybody else get annoyed at Leyland’s terrible lineup decisions? Putting a poor OBP (and overall poor hitter) hitter in the second spot (Magglio Ordonez) and having Delmon Young way too high in the lineup definitely cost the team some runs this year. Also, why is everybody in love with Delmon Young? He’s been worth less than a win this year (one of his better years) and he has been a below-average player with the tigers. People always say that he has “a power stroke” and “strikes fear into the opposition.”

    Comment by tigs fan — September 30, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

  26. Yes, everyone does.

    Comment by buddy — September 30, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

  27. Yankees are Vegas’s least favored favorite at -155. For comparison, Texas -170, MW -175, and Phillies -290.

    Comment by Steve Balboni — September 30, 2011 @ 1:31 pm

  28. teams doug fister has faced since going to the tigers

    texas
    clevland
    baltimore
    clevland
    rays
    royals
    clevland
    twins
    oakland
    royals
    clevland

    not exactly the yankees lineup

    Comment by Jon — September 30, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

  29. The key to this series is Miguel Cabrera… he batted .344 in the regular season and .396 over the course of the season with RISP. How anybody is mentioning other people for MVP is beyond me… are they looking at different stats or are they willfully ignoring Cabrera like the media for the simple reason that they don’t like hm?

    Comment by anon — September 30, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

  30. He plays 1st base.

    Comment by William — September 30, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  31. book it

    Comment by Cloud Computer — September 30, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

  32. I couldn’t agree more (or be more jealous)

    Comment by Cloud Computer — September 30, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

  33. 1) Miguel Cabrera is a first baseman, and a defensively mediocre one at that. When you’ve got two center fielders who provide plus value on both sides of the ball (Ellsbury and Granderson) and a right fielder having a fantastic offensive season (Jose Bautista), the first baseman who can rake doesn’t look as good.

    2) People aren’t exactly ignoring Cabrera. He’ll probably finish in the top 5 of the voting. It’s just that other players have had equal or better seasons.

    3) Why does it confuse you that people are mentioning more than your one pick for MVP? If you think Cabrera is the MVP, fine! He’s a reasonable choice. But do you really think he’s so far ahead of the pack that nobody else should even be in the discussion? Really?

    Comment by Ian R. — September 30, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

  34. I get annoyed by Leyland’s lineups as well, but Young has absolutely not been a below average player with the Tigers. He only had 2 or 3 home runs before being traded and finished with 12. He has especially raised his offense in September, with a .808 OPS. That’s pretty good considering he doesn’t walk much.

    Comment by jkafka — September 30, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

  35. I see he actually hit 4 homers as a Twin, but he still produced twice as many with the Tigers in 44 fewer games.

    Comment by jkafka — September 30, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

  36. John Rocker is that you?

    Comment by Jeff — September 30, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

  37. what is the point of this comment?

    Comment by Jason — September 30, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

  38. ….context lost. this was in response to an offensive comment that has since been removed.

    Comment by Jason — September 30, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

  39. Word.

    Comment by East Coast Michigander — September 30, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

  40. Pfun pfact: The Royals and Orioles were 6th and 7th in the AL in scoring. Not the Yankees, but also not a bunch of banjo-hitters.

    Comment by Jeff Pinkus — September 30, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

  41. You know Bautista’s amazing offensive season? He’s not hitting significantly better than Miggy this year. wRC+ difference of 4.

    Comment by JG — September 30, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

  42. Secret Weapon: Al Alburquerque

    Robinson Cano (Dontcha KNOW!) disagrees with you.

    Comment by Shaun Catron — October 2, 2011 @ 5:36 am

  43. Stupid weather…

    Comment by Raf — October 2, 2011 @ 9:32 am

  44. As a Yankee fan, no, I do not.

    Comment by Spunky — October 2, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

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