Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 7:00 AM
A few weeks ago, the Detroit Tigers were a virtual lock to make the playoffs. In fact, all the respected “stathead” projection systems were assuring everyone it was a done deal. So much for stats! Since then…
*Detroit’s pitching has collapsed (outside of a couple of studs)
*Kansas City’s caught fire
*Kansas City’s been exploiting an easy schedule (that remains easy)
*Seattle has lifted its play
Those developments knocked Detroit out of first place in the AL Central, and then dropped them behind Seattle in the fight for the second Wildcard spot behind whoever draws the short straw in the Oakland/LA Angels battle at the top of the AL West. The same projection systems that had said Detroit was a virtual lock are now saying they’re worse than a coin flip to play in October. Of course, that may be good news given the lack of accuracy for projection systems!
The New York Yankees are also a second-place team (AL East) hoping to snag at least a Wildcard spot. But, time is running out on the Bronx Bombers. Unless Baltimore hits a wall, the Yanks will have to catch BOTH Detroit and Seattle from behind to sneak into the postseason. It’s tougher to chase down two different teams because either could be as hot as your are going forward.
That makes the current three-game set matching the Yanks and Tigers as a do-or-die affair for at least one team…and both are staring a long slog in the face. Let’s run some numbers to see how things might play out.
Let’s run some numbers…
New York: 3.95 runs per game, .312 on-base, .381 slugging
Detroit: 4.66 runs per game, .330 on-base, .426 slugging
Detroit still has an elite offense, which at least gives them a shot to close strong if they can get any pitching. It’s kind of a miracle that the Yankees are still in the playoff picture given those anemic numbers and the inconsistency of their pitching staff. Big edge to the Tigers in this element of the matchup.
Brandon McCarthy: 4.01 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 8.0 K-Rate
Rick Porcello: 3.10 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 5.4 K-Rate
Note that McCarthy’s ERA is only 1.90 since coming over to the Yankees from Arizona. That includes a shutout his last time out vs. Houston. It’s odd so see a pitcher improve like that when switching (back) to the SUPERIOR league. But, he wasn’t well suited to Arizona’s park, and does appear to be invigorated about playing for the Yanks. Porcello is also coming off a shutout, and has been in great form of late while Rome was burning around him. He’s dropped about half a run off his ERA over the last six weeks, turning himself into a Justin Verlander results-wise while Verlander’s fallen off the map. Very interesting matchup for handicappers.
Shane Greene: 3.17 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 8.6 K-Rate
David Price: 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 9.9 K-Rate
Greene through eight scoreless innings against the Tigers in a recent outing. But, he’s only had one quality start in his last five outside of that one. Detroit is likely to have a better read on him in this second look. Price has a Cy Young caliber WHIP and K-Rate, but has been too home run prone this year. Allowing 23 dingers in 27 starts has his ERA up at 3.00 when it really should be lower given his peripherals. Clear edge here to Price because he’s better than his ERA is showing, and Greene is likely to underachieve that stat line in a second look.
THURSDAY’S PITCHERS (Day Game)
Hiroki Kuroda: 3.94 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 6.1 K-Rate
Kuroda’s been a fairly generic pitcher this season. His low K-Rate prevents him from dominating opponents. You can get by with a 3.94 ERA at the back end of a rotation. The Yanks needed more from him this season given the names on the rest of their staff. For Detroit, the last time this spot in the rotation came up, they lost 20-4 at Minnesota! They don’t have enough arms to fill out their rotation right now…and will take a gamble with somebody here. Justin Verlander could come back off a Saturday start in Minnesota…but it’s coin flip rather that’s good news for Detroit given his recent form.
JIM HURLEY will probably have at least one play in this showdown series. You can always purchase game day BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card in baseball and football. If you have any questions about longterm service, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155.
It’s now nothing but college football through Labor Day. Here’s the NOTEBOOK schedule between now and the holiday…
Wednesday: Early College Football TV Preview…Texas A&M at South Carolina
Thursday: College Football TV Preview…Ole Miss vs. Boise State (Atlanta)
Friday: College Football TV Preview…BYU at Connecticut
Saturday: College Football TV Preview…Florida State vs. Oklahoma State (Arlington)
Sunday: College Football TV Preview…Utah State at Tennessee
Labor Day: College Football TV Preview…Miami at Louisville
Build your bankrolls tonight and Wednesday for all the great football ahead. Every dollar you win in August will multiply itself several times over between now and the Super Bowl. PYRAMID YOUR PROFITS with BIG, JUICY WINNERS from JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!