Yankees, Tigers Make American League Feel Normal Again

Of the four teams that made it into the American League Division Series round, two were lovable underdogs, teams no one expected to get anywhere close to that far. Around spring training, the Orioles were projected to finish last in the AL East, as they are just about every year. The Athletics were projected to finish last or close to last in the AL West, well behind the elite-level Rangers and Angels. No one expected the Orioles or A’s to make any noise, so when they did, people got swept up, and they were two incredibly easy teams to root for in the first series round of the playoffs.

And both of them got eliminated, leaving us with the Yankees and the Tigers to fight over the AL pennant. The Tigers played in the ALCS as recently as 2011, and the Yankees played in the ALCS as recently as 2010, so something about this matchup doesn’t quite feel so fresh. Granted, the Tigers and the Yankees have faced their adversity, too. The Tigers were multiple games out of a playoff spot in the middle of September. The Yankees not only had to fight off the Orioles, but they also had to deal with major injuries to Mariano Rivera, Michael Pineda, and Andy Pettitte. It’s been an easy road for neither team, but because people long expected both the Yankees and the Tigers to make the playoffs, this matchup doesn’t feel as appealing as it could’ve been.

Not that the Yankees or the Tigers really care. The average baseball fan presumably would’ve preferred at least one of the Orioles and A’s, but they’re done now and there’s no use crying over spilled underdog baseball teams. The Yankees and the Tigers are what we have, you’re probably still going to pay attention, and it turns out these teams have a lot of really talented players on them! So let’s talk a little bit about what we’re going to see, and what we might see, maybe.

Here’s that disclaimer again about how this will be a short series, and anything can happen in a short series, and so on and so forth. The Wild Card game is one game. The first round is a best-of-five. The second round is a best-of-seven. That might lead one to believe that a best-of-seven is a rather long round, but statistically speaking, the samples are still tiny. This series will not conclusively reward the better team between the Yankees and the Tigers. Some weird players might step up and look like superstars. In five games against the Nationals, Daniel Descalso just batted .316 with two home runs. In five games against the Yankees, Nate McLouth just batted .318. Let’s not any of us make predictions, except that this series will last at least four baseball games, and no more than seven baseball games.

Here are some of the details of those four to seven baseball games:

Game Visitor Home Date Time (ET)
Game 1 Tigers Yankees 13-Oct 20:00
Game 2 Tigers Yankees 14-Oct 16:00
Game 3 Yankees Tigers 16-Oct 20:00
Game 4 Yankees Tigers 17-Oct 20:00
Game 5* Yankees Tigers 18-Oct 16:00
Game 6* Tigers Yankees 20-Oct 20:00
Game 7* Tigers Yankees 21-Oct 20:00

As you already knew, the series gets started right away Saturday evening. Now for some of the basics, like last time. The Yankees this season finished 95-67, with a +136 run differential that was the best in the American League. They got rid of the Orioles in the first round in five games. The Tigers finished 88-74, with a +56 run differential that was worse than Chicago’s. They got rid of the Athletics in the first round in five games. The Yankees posted a 113 wRC+ and a 92 ERA-, while the Tigers posted a 105 wRC+ and a 91 ERA-. Now, wRC+ is subject to imperfect park factors, so we don’t want to pretend like it’s super precise, but as is, the Yankees posted the highest wRC+ in all of baseball, a point ahead of the Angels and six points ahead of the Cardinals. The Tigers tied with the Rangers and the Brewers.

The Tigers’ ALCS rotation has already been announced, and it’ll go Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez, Justin Verlander, and Max Scherzer, then Fister, Sanchez, and Verlander again if necessary. All that’s been announced on the Yankees’ end is that Andy Pettitte will start Game 1. Beyond that, Joe Girardi isn’t saying anything. One might speculate that after Pettitte will come Hiroki Kuroda, CC Sabathia, and Phil Hughes. There’s a chance David Phelps could start Game 2 instead. Let’s operate under the assumption that we’ll see the first group of four. Then the Tigers’ four average out to a 3.39 ERA, 3.33 FIP, and 3.41 xFIP, while the Yankees’ four average out to a 3.45 ERA, 3.81 FIP, and 3.62 xFIP. Slight edge to the Tigers, which becomes a little less slight if you include Phelps. Turns out it’s good to have Justin Verlander on your team.

The Tigers’ rotation really is phenomenally underrated, possibly as a consequence of the team’s defense making it look worse than it is. It’s also possible that it isn’t underrated, and that the numbers were helped from having faced lesser competition, but just based on the statistics the Tigers’ starters look great as a unit. Everybody’s going to be rested, whereas for the Yankees, they’ll have to think about Sabathia on short rest, and Kuroda also on short rest. Another thing about the Tigers’ rotation is that it’s completely right-handed. This brings us to Alex Rodriguez.

Joe Girardi pinch-hitting for Alex Rodriguez, and then outright benching Alex Rodriguez, became a huge story that threatened to envelop the entire Division Series round. That subject isn’t going to go away, either, with the Tigers’ righties lining up. Now, this is significant, in that Rodriguez is a very highly-paid player who is exceptionally accomplished. Usually you don’t see a player like Alex Rodriguez sit on the bench come playoff time. But just based on the numbers, and leaving out emotion and psychology, it makes a lot of sense to sit A-Rod down. At least, it doesn’t not make sense. All you have to believe is that Eric Chavez is a better play against righties than Rodriguez is.

Regress all the numbers and you probably favor Rodriguez. It’s a question, then, of how much you regress. Chavez has historically been much better against righties than lefties. Rodriguez had a lot of trouble against righties this season. Additionally, Rodriguez missed some weeks with a fractured hand, returning in early September. Here is a split of some potential consequence:

Rodriguez, pre-DL: 76% contact
Rodriguez, post-DL: 67% contact

The samples are nearly 700 swings and nearly 300 swings, respectively. And on top of diminished contact frequency, Rodriguez has shown diminished contact quality, with less power since coming back to the team. Rodriguez might not be fully recovered, which makes sitting him even more sensible. An Alex Rodriguez who isn’t 100 percent is an Alex Rodriguez you don’t regress back to the mean.

One shouldn’t simply overreact to a playoff slump. Rodriguez was slumping in the ALDS, and Curtis Granderson was slumping in the ALDS, then in Game 5 Granderson came to life. But this slump for Rodriguez has been going on longer and so we’ll just see what Girardi does. Against righties, Chavez makes sense, and he’s probably the better play. Not by a huge degree, but by some degree. Good luck to Girardi trying to manage all this with grace, because starting his superstar third baseman might actually reduce the Yankees’ odds of winning.

Expect the Rodriguez situation to get more attention than it might warrant, probabilistically. It’ll get attention because it’s unusual. It won’t matter that the difference between Rodriguez and Chavez is still realistically pretty small. Come playoff time, the media is not about proportional coverage.

Changing gears, we saw Jose Valverde melt down against the A’s in the ALDS. The A’s specifically said afterward that they were hoping to get to Valverde with a bunch of lefties. Valverde this season posted a 3.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio against righties, which is fine, but he posted a 1.1 strikeout-to-walk ratio against lefties, allowing a .317 wOBA. Valverde had a similar split last year, too. His contact rate is climbing and now Valverde is something of a vulnerability. The potential is there for the Yankees to take advantage of Valverde being a strict closer, because the Yankees have a good number of lefties and switch-hitters. The most challenging thing for the Yankees will be getting through the Tigers’ quality starters. There’s a drop-off in the bullpen, and the closer’s hardly a classic closer at all. If Jose Valverde pitches with a lead in this series, then the door is still open.

Just for fun, and changing gears again, I decided to mess around with something I never really mess around with, by which I mean batter vs. pitcher splits. I think we can all agree that Justin Verlander turned into Justin Verlander! in 2009. Since 2009, Verlander has faced Ichiro 33 times. Ichiro’s come away with nine hits, zero walks, and a dozen strikeouts. Those strikeouts stood out to me because Ichiro does not strike out very often. Over those 33 plate appearances, Ichiro has swung 65 times at a Verlander pitch, and whiffed 14 times, for a 78-percent contact rate. That’s well below Ichiro’s average, and roughly even with Verlander’s average. I’m not saying I think there’s anything real meaningful in here, but if you’re going to look at batter vs. pitcher splits, you might as well get granular, since that’s where any signal probably lies. Seems like Ichiro has trouble hitting Justin Verlander. More than you might expect. Neat!

It will be interesting to have a Yankees vs. Tigers series that might only feature Sabathia and Verlander one time each, barring a Game 7. In the event of a Game 7, of course, that would be a potential pitcher’s duel for the ages, and the teams would have the right guys going with the highest possible leverage, but many series go four-to-six games so we’ll see a lot of the other pitchers. Detroit’s are good. New York’s are not bad. They’re almost just as good.

That should get you as prepared as you need to be. I don’t need to say anything about Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder because you know about them and they’re healthy. One might look at Fielder’s ALDS numbers and conclude that he’s slumping, but remember that in the same game he was robbed of both a home run and a double, so he’s actually fine. The Tigers’ lineup is more top-heavy while the Yankees’ lineup is more deep, and while the best of the Tigers is better than the best of the Yankees, the worst of the Yankees is better than the worst of the Tigers. The Yankees aren’t going to have much of a bench if Chavez starts and Rodriguez is below 100 percent, but the Tigers aren’t going to have much of a bench, either, and this is the American League. The benches probably won’t decide this series, although they could.

Most everybody probably wanted to see the Orioles, the A’s, or the Orioles and the A’s. That’s because, while people are afraid of change that affects their lives, they welcome change that doesn’t. The Orioles fell short and the A’s fell short, and in their places we have two other really good baseball teams, one of whom will shortly represent the AL in the World Series. Who’s that going to be? Haha, nice try, you almost got me. I don’t know! That’s who.




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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

49 Responses to “Yankees, Tigers Make American League Feel Normal Again”

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  1. RéRé says:

    “That’s because, while people are afraid of change that affects their lives, they welcome change that doesn’t.”

    Haha, nice.

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  2. cwendt says:

    The “average fan” can’t name anyone on the Orioles or A’s. They want to watch the best teams play, or at least the teams with the biggest names or best pedigree. That’s what television ratings have consistently told us. In both cases, this happens to be the Yankees and Tigers.

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    • cwendt says:

      In other words: I accept your analysis (though worth noting just how bad these two teams are defensively), but reject your premise.

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  3. baycommuter says:

    No contradiction. There’s a difference between “like” and “will watch.” People will watch the Yankees, even if they hate them.

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  4. Tim says:

    This is going to be a very good series. Two very good teams, many of MLB’s best most marketable players, a few future HOFs and should be very high television ratings.

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  5. Jason H says:

    On what planet were the A’s the underdog against the Tigers? Doesn’t the season matter?

    The underdog won one of the ALDS. The narrative that the “moneyball” team is always the underdog is just silly.

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    • James says:

      In a planet in which Justin Verlander is starting 40% of the games in the series, they are an underdog. Just a fact.

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      • Jason H says:

        By that logic, the Tigers are the favorites against every team. …the worst team in the playoffs are considered the favorites simply because of one starting pitcher? If Verlander had lost game one (and the Tigers lost lots of games that Verlander started during the season) would the A’s then have become overwhelming favorites?!

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      • BenH says:

        He’s saying the Tigers have better players than the A’s, which happens to be a very obvious fact that you have not grasped.

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      • Kevin says:

        “By that logic, the Tigers are the favorites against every team. …the worst team in the playoffs are considered the favorites simply because of one starting pitcher?”

        This actually isn’t too far fetched. Starting pitching dominates in the playoffs more often than not. And when you’ve got the best pitcher in the game, who just came off an insane two games, that counts for something.

        And just like Oakland, NY strikes out more than average this year, especially as the season went on. What do Tiger pitchers like to do? Strike people out.

        The Tigers are built for these kind of scenarios where good pitching faces good hitting. That doesn’t make them a shoe in, but they have real advantages over NY.

        And besides, this wasn’t last year. The Tigers DID lose quite a few games Verlander started. Many of them weren’t his fault. That doesn’t change the fact he is a downright terrifying pitcher to face.

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      • Jason H says:

        Kevin,

        “The Tigers DID lose quite a few games Verlander started. Many of them weren’t his fault.”

        Exactly. Starting pitching is critically important, but the rest of the team matters too, as does the competition. This, of course, remains true in the playoffs. The Tigers are not guaranteed to win games Verlander starts. They likely almost always have better than 50% chance, when he starts, but they can still lose lots of those games. In fact, if Verlander starts two games and the Tigers’ chance of winning each of those starts is 70%, the probability that the Tigers lose at least one of those starts is 42% (calculated using the binomial). This is why teams with lock down starters do lose playoff series regularly.

        “That doesn’t change the fact he is a downright terrifying pitcher to face.”

        Agreed!!!!

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      • Jason H says:

        BenH,

        While the Tigers, do have better players than the A’s at several positions (fantastically better, in the case of Verlander, Cabrera and Fielder), they also have much worse players at several positions. In aggregate, the A’s were clearly the better team this year.

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      • Matthias says:

        @JasonH

        To say the A’s were “clearly the better team” is perhaps a little bold. In 162 games, they won 6 more than the Tigers. But with the weakened Central and all, we can probably agree that the A’s played better this season.

        But as James and others stated, the Tigers have more to gain from the playoff format because their top 3 pitchers are better than most’s top three, and those top three could pitch six-sevenths of the series. Hypothetically if Detroit could have started Verlander, Scherzer and Fister in six of every seven starts, that would have given the Tigers a bigger advantage than the A’s getting to start Anderson, Colon and Parker that often.

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    • simo says:

      The reason why the A’s were the underdogs was because they had no established players. While, yes, they scraped by a miraculous season, it seemed very out of place/surprising. Meanwhile, the Tigers featured names like Verlander, Cabrera, and Fielder. I believe the main reason why the Tigers were more highly thought of is because the vast majority of baseball fans don’t credit defense enough, and what little credit they do give, they tend to lend to errors, a highly flawed stat. I just checked team UZRs, and found out that the A’s posted an over-average 24.3 UZR, while the Tigers poor defense, with Cabrera at third and the misnamed Prince Fielder at first, posted a poor -28.1 UZR. The Tigers bad record was due to a poor bullpen and bad defense, but all people see is rotation and hitting. This made the A’s seem much more of the underdogs.

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    • The A’s were 2012 underdogs, is what I was getting at. Even though they wound up as a legitimately strong team, they were a surprise that was easy to root for.

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      • Jason H says:

        I agree that prior to season the A’s were huge underdogs. For the ALDS I have a hard time seeing a team that performed much better over 162 games, despite playing a much tougher schedule as underdogs.

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    • Dwight S. says:

      The season matters but matchups matter even more. And simply put the Tigers matchuped very favorably to Oakland. Every single game the Tigers had the better starting pitcher, the Tigers had the better 1B, better 3B, better CF, better 2B and probably better C too. I’d give the bullpen, defense and corner OF to Oakland but other than that I think the Tigers had the advantage everywhere and that’s why they were the favorites.

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    • kazinski says:

      The A’s caught lightning in a bottle. On June 30th they were 13 games back with a 37-42 record. They had 5 rookies that had over 200PA, they had 5 rookies that started 97 of their 162 games. They had another 5 rookies with more than 30 appearances out of the bullpen.

      Of course they were underdogs. It doesn’t take anything away from what they accomplished, it just reflects the reality of the talent levels of the teams.

      Of course the A’s racked up more WAR than the Tigers 23.7 – 21.1 while the Angels led the majors at 37.4, for what that is worth.

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    • jim says:

      surely you’re not referring to the 2012 ALDS?

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  6. Koko B. Ware says:

    I don’t think it is fair to say that ARod has slumped longer than Granderson. Granderson has a sub .270 OBP going back to late July.

    ARod was never benched or pinch-hit for in the final weeks of the season when every game was crucial for the Yankees. ARod started Game 1 against Hammel batting third. ARod was pinch-hit against a RHP in game 3. ARod was on the bench against Hammel in Game 5.

    It seems clear that this is Girardi using two or three games of data to change his mind about ARod. There was never an indication prior to the pinch-hit in game 3 that the Yankees were worried about ARod vs RHP.

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    • Jason H says:

      The small sample is justified. Arod is currently in a bad place. There never should have been a fifth game. Arod came up with second and third and less than two outs in the bottom of the eighth. He had no chance of putting the ball in play. He was feet away from the ball and struck out on 3 or 4 pitches. That is not Arod. Arod, in any normal situation, does not have trouble just making contact.

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    • Zach says:

      The argument that A-Rod is slumping I think is pretty sound. I also think that Granderson has obviously been slumping since the All-Star Break. 34% K rate in July, 28% in August, and 32% in Sept/Oct. Though, he has hit 20 home runs during that stretch too. It adds up to a wRC+ around 100, which is certainly less than what you would expect from Granderson. And given the really high strikeout rates, I wouldn’t like his chances against the Tiger starters.

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      • GGRS says:

        The argument isn’t ARod isn’t slumping it’s “Granderson has slumped worse.” WHich if you go by the stats which everyone should on FanGraphs is the truth. Yes ARod sucks and people love spewing it out forever but that’s not the point being made.

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    • I meant that Rodriguez has been slumping for longer than just the ALDS, not that he’s been slumping for longer than Granderson. That part was poorly written, so, my bad.

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  7. Persona non grata says:

    Why is it that in both leagues, the team with the overall best record wasn’t guaranteed to have the extra off-day in case of an the series going 5? It seems like that is a distinct advantage, considering Verlander now gets the standard 4-days rest, while CC will be going on 3-days (probably not much of a factor, but still a factor).

    I’d rather the best team get a 3-day break at season end before their series, with a guaranteed rest day after the Division Series, than a 4-day break before their series with no guaranteed rest day.

    Just my 2-cents.

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    • Cidron says:

      you want a longer break? tell your team to wrap up their series faster then.

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      • Mark says:

        …But both series went to 5 games. It’s not like Verlander and the Tigers wrapped things up faster than the Yankees did.

        You’d have a valid complaint if the Tigers finished in 4 and the Yanks in 5. But they both took 5 games.

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    • tigerdog says:

      They gave the extra day off up front to the wild card team, because they had to play a game the previous day while the division winners had time off to see how that wild card showdown turned out.

      It’s enough to have the home field advantage, IMO, and the Tigers had to take a red eye into New York last night for today’s game. Both teams have to turn around and play again the next day, but that’s not unusual in baseball. Blame the TV network scheduling.

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      • Ivan Grushenko says:

        If anyone should have to deal with playing on no rest it should be the WC team, not the top seed. I’d rather have seen the Yanks-O’s series start first and the A’s-Tigers start 2nd. The top seed should get all the scheduling breaks.

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    • Jon L. says:

      Persona non grata: I totally agree. It’s a disadvantage to the top-qualifying teams that earned the right to play the wild card winners.

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    • Jim Bouldin says:

      But you have no way of knowing which team will win each WC and LDS series, and the scheduling happens well in advance. So there’s no way to do it. I agree with the principle though.

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  8. tigerdog says:

    From a Tiger perspective, the key to this series is the Tiger starters staying in the game through seven innings or longer. The Yankees are masters at working the count and running up pitch counts. First pitch strikes, and inducing ground balls are keys to success for Detroit. The Tigers led the league in rotation FIP all season, but their infield defense dragged the ERA down to third in the league. That defense is better with Infante, but still weak overall.

    The Tigers have some good pitchers in the bullpen, and they’re all effective much more often than not, but we just witnessed one meltdown each from Benoit and Valverde in the ALDS. Jim Leyland needs to drop his obsession for lefty on lefty match ups, because Phil Coke is an accident waiting to happen, and there’s no place like New York for accidents against lefty hitters. Stick with the effective starters, forget about pitch counts and left handed match ups, and the Tigers should be fine.

    On the offensive end of things, the Tigers have a number of hackers that can be retired by any thinking pitcher. There’s no reason to throw strikes to Delmon Young and Jhonny Peralta, unless you need a double play ball. Avila runs into one twice a month, and Leyland will bat Berry second so that he can give away outs by bunting a runner over in the first inning. Getting the first two guys on base ahead of Cabrera and Fielder is key. Andy Dirks is the underrated Tiger in the lineup. The boy can hit RHP’s, and he will.

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    • Kevin says:

      How often do you think we will see Albuquerque? He has dominant reliever status in the future, but he’s done quite well since he came back. More emphasis on him this series please!

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      • tigerdog says:

        Leyland will stick with Benoit in the 8th and Valverde in the ninth. He could use any combination of Dotel, Coke, and Al Al in the sixth and seventh. The more we see those guys, the better the Yankees are doing at working the count against Tiger starters.

        When you get into middle relief, Leyland gets obsessed with LH and RH match ups. He needs to stick with his starters as long as they’re effective and forget about match ups and pitch counts. This is a solid rotation all the way through.

        Benoit has been homer prone, giving up 14 HR starting in July, and Valverde has been up and down, but mostly escapes with a save. The BS in Oakland was only his second since July 14, but he’s always living dangerously.

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    • Ivan Grushenko says:

      Even if the Tiger starters make it through 7, they pen can still lose the game. As Jeff points out, Valverde will always pitch the 9th with a lead, and unless the lead is huge, he’s vulnerable. Benoit will always pitch the 8th with a lead, and he’s not what he was with TB. Yankees have Chavez, Granderson, Ibanez, Teixeira, Cano and Swisher as lefty hitters. A Yankee win or two against this duo wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

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  9. Ivan Grushenko says:

    “best of the Tigers is better than the best of the Yankees, the worst of the Yankees is better than the worst of the Tigers”

    This may have been true when Boesch and Raburn were playing, but is it still true?

    Cabrera vs Cano
    Jackson vs Granderson
    Fielder vs Teixeira
    Peralta vs Jeter

    I’d call that pretty even for the best players on each side, unless Teixeira is still injured and Granderson is really as bad as he’s been in the 2nd half.

    Avila vs Martin
    Swisher vs Dirks
    Ichiro vs Berry

    I’m not sure that’s all that much in the Yankee’s favor. One would think A-Rod, Chavez and Ibanez would be better than Young and Infante, so the Yankees would seem to have a clear edge in lineup and bullpen.

    As you say, the Tiger and Yankee rotations are also pretty much even unless Phelps has to pitch in Game 2 in place of Kuroda. I think the Yankees are a slighly better team that may have to deal with a scheduling disadvantage because they finished with the best record. Not really fair.

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    • YanksFanInBeantown says:

      Fielder is much better than Teixeira. Cabrera is better than Cano. Jackson is better than Granderson.

      Jeter is way better than Peralta though. And Ichiro is better than Berry.

      Avila and Martin is a wash, although Martin’s been a different player in the second half. I don’t know much about Dirks, but his BABIP seems a bit high and he doesn’t walk or have much power, so I’d give the advantage to Swisher just on track record.

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  10. jim says:

    i love it when you get all nerdy with us, jeff

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  11. ausmax says:

    How can you say the series will go between 4 and 7 games? I say Tigers in 9!

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  12. Jim Bouldin says:

    “…so we’ll see a lot of the other pitchers. Detroit’s [starters] are good. New York’s are not bad. They’re almost just as good.”

    Don’t think so. Significant edge to the Tigers’ I’d say. Bullpen’s another story however.

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  13. AC of DC says:

    There was an article hereabouts that amongst other bits lamented that the Yankees outspent the Orioles’ by an amount equal to the St. Louis Cardinals’ payroll, but there was made no mention of the fact that the Tigers outspent the Athletics by the price of the Baltimore Orioles roster, or that the Cardinals outspent the Nationals by one team full of Oakland Athletics. The closest series in financial terms was CIN-SF, and the Giants still had a cushion of a Yankee-and-a-half over their opponents.

    (Figures based on Opening Day estimates; personnel changes have not had significant impact, per review of numbers found on Cot’s.)

    So let us say: As it should be! Who wants to see upstart teams and exciting young players when we can have the same half-dozen traditional organizations playing each other every year? Let us emulate yonder European Footsoccer leagues, wherein the bulk of franchises are so much ornamentation to gild the duels of the nobility! Piffle, your competition; pox on your starved dreams: pale indeed beside the ruddy face upon my currency! A cheer for marketing, a toast to Normal!

    (A bit Notgraphsy, I know, but the opening was there to fire upon.)

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    • WAR Invitational says:

      The Yankee-and-a-half spent the entire 2012 season sitting on his couch, following his release from the Marlins.

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    • Tony says:

      The Tigers have made the playoffs three times in the last 24 years. In that same time frame, the ‘As have made the playoffs 10 times with a World Series title.

      Anyway you cut it, the Tigers are one of the teams that isn’t there very often, and the A’s (they of the third most WS titles of any franchise) are one of the ‘half-dozen traditional organizations’ who are there all the time.

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  14. Westside guy says:

    I’m looking forward to watching all the ex-Mariners play in this series because, as a Mariners fan, it’s the only thing I have to root for.

    I’m not looking forward to watching all the botched defensive plays (or, more likely, non-plays). These games promise to feature a lot of dingers, but boy oh boy they are probably going to be ugly.

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  15. blb says:

    I think this article was supposed to be titled “Yankees, Tigers make the American League boring again.”

    Really, aside from all of the non-Yankee fans who want the Yankees to lose, does anyone care about the ALCS aside from Yankee and Tiger fans?

    Same goes for the NLCS. Oh, the Cardinals? Again…? Boring…

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    • Ian says:

      If you’re someone who likes to watch the very best athletes competing on a huge stage, then you’ll like the Yankees-Tigers series. I think that would apply to most baseball fans.
      Something mentioned during the broadcast was the number of potential HOFers in this series:
      Jeter, A-Rod, Pettite, Sabathia, Ichiro, Cano, Teixeira
      Cabrera, Verlander, Fielder, Leyland
      That’s a lot.

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      • JM says:

        I was going to laugh at you and point out that no one would tune in to see vaunted-future-HOFer Jim Leyland in action.

        But then I remembered the 8000 tight-in close-ups of his face TBS treated us to tonight, with his little hoodie drawstrings all tied up in a little knot, looking like he was dying for a smoke. So maybe you’re on to something.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • blb says:

        I do enjoy watching A-Rod strike out in grand fashion when the game is on the line, so I guess you may be right.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

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