Tigers Series Preview
The pitching matchup tomorrow features a pitcher with a 1.29 ERA and one with a 6.95 ERA. If you said Justin Verlander would have a higher ERA than Francisco Liriano, raise your hand. Now, I know ERA isn’t great, but Liriano is kicking Verlander’s ass in tRA as well. Verlander’s walks are up and his strikeouts are down, but he’s still giving up roughly the same amount of line drives he did last year. Liriano’s stuff appears to be at least most of the way back, which gets me even more excited for this year.
Wednesday Scott Baker faces off against Max Scherzer. Fun fact: Baker has thrown exactly 92 pitches in three of his first four starts. He’s also not been very economical with his pitches. He does have two 7 inning efforts, but a 5.2 and 4.2 pair to go with it. His FIP is lower than his ERA thanks in part to a .308 BABIP that would be the highest of his career, but if the year ended today he would also have a career low for strikeout rate. Whether it’s a stuff thing or he just hasn’t found his groove yet I am not sure, but if he is going so deep into counts Id like for him to get rewarded with some strikeouts. Scherzer, meanwhile, is really outperforming his FIP thanks to a .262 BABIP. His LD% is higher than it was last year, so perhaps it’s a result of pitching in front of a Tigers defense that was pretty darn good last year.
On Thursday, Carl Pavano faces TBD. Pavano has recovered well from his blowup last start, and looks to be a solid if not spectacular pitcher for the Twins.
The Tigers offense has been pretty good this year, but given that Ramon Santiago is one of their better hitters, I think that will come down a bit in the near future. Also, it appears Magglio Ordonez is back somehow. He is on pace for the best season of his career, with the lowest K rate of his career, one of his highest walk rates, and he has just a .305 BABIP. Still, given his glove, he won’t be worth his option, so the Tigers might look to trade him to a contender in July if they fall too far off the pace.