The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:
 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

2012 ALCS Preview - Tigers vs. Yankees

It took the Yankees and Tigers the full five games for both teams to advance past the ALDS, but here they are.  The problem for both teams is that they had to use their aces in the fifth game, which means they can’t start the ALCS with Justin Verlander or CC Sabathia.

The Tigers as presently constituted are better than the 88 win team in the AL Central that they were this year, at least if you believe the projections.  Here’s how their offense projects over a seven game series using Oliver from the Hardball Times.

Order Player Pos PA avg/obp/slg woba Outs BR
1 Austin Jackson CF 31 .279/.343/.421 .335 20 3.9
2 Omar Infante 2B 31 .286/.315/.409 .314 21 3.5
3 Miguel Cabrera 3B 31 .334/.415/.604 .432 19 6.0
4 Prince Fielder 1B 31 .298/.405/.517 .400 19 5.2
5 Delmon Young DH 31 .279/.311/.443 .324 22 3.7
6 Jhonny Peralta SS 31 .263/.320/.413 .320 22 3.6
7 Andy Dirks LF 31 .279/.323/.448 .333 21 3.9
8 Avisail Garcia RF 20 .252/.279/.375 .285 15 1.8
9 Alex Avila C 25 .260/.352/.410 .338 16 3.1
Bench Gerald Laird C 7 .244/.304/.360 .295 5 0.7
Bench Ramon Santiago IF 4 .254/.313/.351 .295 3 0.4
Bench Danny Worth IF 1 .239/.305/.357 .294 1 0.1
Bench Don Kelly UT 0 .242/.296/.376 .295 0 0.0
Bench Quintin Berry OF 8 .239/.312/.320 .287 5 0.8
Bench Brennan Boesch OF 0 .263/.317/.419 .322 0 0.0
Bench Bryan Holaday C 0 .223/.274/.331 .267 0 0.0
Total 282 189 36.6

wOBA: Weighted on base average
BR: Linear weights batting runs

The Tigers obviously have the two best hitters in this series in Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.  The rest of the lineup is not quite as impressive.  They’ve been platooning Alex Avila and Gerald Laird at catcher and Avisail Garcia and Quintin Berry in he OF, so I’ve assumed they’ll continue doing that.  Defense was an issue for them for most of the year, but adding Omar Infante and getting Brennan Boesch out of the lineup seems to have helped them there quite a bit, and with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer striking out everyone it’s probably not going to be a big problem in three of the games at least.

If we give them 27 outs per game they project to score an estimated 36.6 runs over 7 games.

Here’s how their pitching looks.

Player Role IP H R ER HR BB K ERA
Doug Fister SP1 13 13 5 5 1 3 9 3.46
Anibal Sanchez SP2 12 12 6 5 1 4 10 4.09
Justin Verlander SP3 14 11 5 4 1 4 14 2.89
Max Scherzer SP4 6 6 3 3 1 2 6 4.02
Rick Porcello SP5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.56
Jose Valverde CL 4 4 2 2 0 2 3 3.70
Joaquin Benoit SU 4 3 1 1 0 1 5 3.10
Phil Coke SU 2 2 1 1 0 1 2 4.03
Octavio Dotel MR 3 3 1 1 0 1 3 3.35
Al Alburquerque MR 2 2 1 1 0 1 2 4.43
Drew Smyly MR 3 3 2 1 0 1 3 4.30
Darin Downs MR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.55
Luis Marte LR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.31
Brayan Villarreal LR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.72
Total 63 58 27 25 6 18 57 3.58

The Tigers have Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer lined up to pitch the first four games.  In theory that would mean Fister, Sanchez and Verlande would pitch games 5-7, but since those games won’t be played it doesn’t matter.  The rotation is strong, with only Anibal Sanchez projecting worse than any of the starters the Orioles threw at the Yankees and he’s only .03 runs per nine worse than Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen’s projections.  If the Yankees had trouble with Baltimore’s starters, they’re really going to have trouble with Detroit’s.

They’ve had some issues with their closer, who projects worse than Joaquin Benoit and Octavio Dotel so it’ll be interesting to see if Jim Leyland sticks with him if he struggles in his first appearance or two.  Our old friend Phil Coke is their main lefty out of the pen, although Drew Smyly provides depth there as well.  You can futz around with how I assigned the bullpen innings but if you don’t they project to allow 27 runs in this series.

36.6 runs scored and 25 runs allowed equals a team that would win about 63.8% of their games, or 103.3 over a 162 game season.

How does that compare to the Yankees?  Let’s see.  First, the position players.

Order Player Pos PA avg/obp/slg woba Outs BR
1 Derek Jeter SS 31 .299/.353/.405 .337 21 3.8
2 Ichiro Suzuki LF 31 .289/.324/.385 .313 21 3.5
3 Alex Rodriguez 3B 25 .271/.348/.462 .352 17 3.5
4 Robinson Cano 2B 31 .304/.361/.530 .381 20 4.9
5 Mark Teixeira 1B 31 .256/.346/.489 .359 20 4.5
6 Nick Swisher RF 30 .267/.357/.463 .357 20 4.2
7 Curtis Granderson CF 30 .249/.337/.509 .360 20 4.5
8 Raul Ibanez DH 29 .256/.319/.454 .334 20 3.7
9 Russell Martin C 29 .232/.323/.389 .317 20 3.2
Bench Eric Chavez 3B 8 .264/.321/.431 .327 6 1.0
Bench Brett Gardner OF 0 .266/.360/.391 .337 0 0.0
Bench Eduardo Nunez IF 3 .254/.294/.346 .283 2 0.3
Bench Chris Stewart C 0 .230/.289/.318 .272 0 0.0
Bench Jayson Nix IF 3 .216/.273/.356 .276 2 0.3
Bench Chris Dickerson OF 0 .252/.332/.384 .319 0 0.0
Bench Andruw Jones OF 0 .232/.327/.456 .340 0 0.0
Total 281 189 37.4

I’m kind of hoping that Alex Rodriguez will be back in the lineup for good but I’ve given some of his PA to Eric Chavez in case.  With Detroit’s rotation all right-handed, the Shockmaster™ should be mostly full-time.  We may see Nun-E and Nixy a few times so I threw them a few PA as well.  With these assumptions they’d project to score a bit less than one run more than the Tigers over seven games.  Of course, they’ll have to hit a lot better than they hit in the ALDS to even sniff that number.

The pitching is a mess.  By blowing Game 4, the Yankees lost the option to start CC in Game 1.  The good news is they have Andy Pettitte fully rested to start Game 1.  Unfortunately, they have no one else from the ALDS rotation who can start on full rest in Game 2.  They could try Hiroki Kuroda on three days rest but he’s never started on three days rest and I don’t think they’ll go that route.  My guess is they’ll use David Phelps with Derek Lowe caddying him in Game 2 and hope for the best, then bring back CC on three days rest to match up against Verlander in Game 3.  That would set him up to pitch in the theoretical Game 7 that won’t happen since Detroit’s going to sweep but let’s let our imaginations run wild. 

So my guess at the rotation is something like: Andy Pettitte, David Phelps, CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia. 

The order could change.  Pettitte would have four days rest before Game 5 so he could start that one.  I’m more concerned about how the innings get allocated than the order for this so let’s press on.

Player Role IP H R ER HR BB K ERA
Andy Pettitte SP1 12 11 5 5 1 3 10 3.58
Hiroki Kuroda SP2 6 6 3 2 1 1 5 3.67
CC Sabathia SP3 13 12 5 5 1 3 12 3.44
Phil Hughes SP4 5 5 3 2 1 1 4 4.22
David Phelps SP5 5 5 2 2 1 2 4 4.06
Rafael Soriano CL 4 3 2 2 0 1 4 3.41
David Robertson SU 5 4 2 2 0 2 6 3.46
Boone Logan SU 3 3 1 1 0 1 3 3.99
Joba Chamberlain MR 3 3 1 1 0 1 3 4.14
Clay Rapada MR 2 2 1 1 0 1 2 3.62
Derek Lowe MR 5 6 3 3 0 2 3 4.64
Cody Eppley MR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.15
Freddy Garcia LR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.74
Ivan Nova LR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.60
Total 63 60 28 26 7 20 56 3.76

Because of the mess that is the rotation I gave Derek Lowe more innings than I’d typically give a long reliever and the worst projected pitcher on the staff.  It shouldn’t make a huge difference on the bottom line though.

Based on this playing time the Yankees figure to allow around 28 runs, which makes them a roughly 62.7%/101.6 win team.

Detroit has a slight edge at .638 vs. .621.  Having home field advantage gives the Yankees about a .006 boost, so you’ve got something like a .633 team playing a .624 team.  Given that, here’s what my playoff simulator says for this series.

Yankees: 49.7%
Tigers: 50.3%

The Tigers are slight favorites, but it’s basically a tossup.  It’d be nice for the Yankees to avenge the last two times Detroit knocked them out of the playoffs, but I’m not betting on that happening.

--Posted at 8:45 am by SG / 24 Comments | - (0)

Comments

Page 1 of 1 pages:

By which I meant - RLYW this season, now that it’s over ))

It’s the mlb playoffs, anything can happen. Thanks to everyone who puts this awesome site together, and tolerates the knee-jerk nonsensical outbursts from folks like myself. Now let’s go smoke Leyland.

Now let’s go smoke Leyland

...as if he were the objectivity pipe!

What do you all think about the whole Melky situation? Dude’s eligible to play for the Giants but they’re not going to use him for the rest of the season. If the Yankees were in the same position as the Giants, would you want them to play him or keep him off of the roster?

Please excuse the thread violation. But I think this is similar to the Gardner question, in that he hasn’t seen a pitch in a long time. Probably too long.

OTOH, if they needed a pinch-runner…

I’m not that worried about the offense, strangely enough - these are the Yankees remember, I’d rather they face Justin Verlander than Joe Saunders.

I’m a little miffed at the scheduling, though. Despite all four surviving teams having played the full five games in the last series, the Yankess are the only ones who don’t get at least one day off (the Giants get two), which puts them at a pretty big disadvantage because of what it does to the rotation, a problem that no other team has to deal with.

Yep, it is total and complete bullshit.

Jeter’s going to have a rough series, I think. Lots of tough righties.

Nunez dropped from the roster, Eppley added.

Why is there not ONE day off? I don’t remember that happening. Backlash against the way the Yankees won in ‘09? I doubt it, probably some TV scheduling bullshit.

[10] Detroit already had a day off. What ? You want BOTH teams, including the #1 seed, to have a day off between series ?

So wait, not only do they not have a day off for travel, they also go from a night game in Game 4 in Detroit to a day game in Game 5 in New York the next day? For serious?

Game 5 in in Detroit.  It’s a 2-3-2 series.

Oh, okay. Phew. I hate 2-3-2 series, but at least that makes sense. Thanks.

The schedule is assed up because the second wild card was added after the TV schedule for the rest o the playoffs was set

Brian, why do you hate 2-3-2?  I can’t think of any other way I’ve ever seen a 7-game series laid out.

[16] 2-2-1-1-1, but this doesn’t work so well for baseball.

So, Kuroda basically has to start on short rest, right?  Tell him to give you a strong 4 or 5, and then use Phelps in the middle innings.

Anything else, and the rotation is too FUBAR.

They just announced Kuroda will start Game 2.  So giving him two starts in this series makes the Yankees a .636 team, and with HFA they now project as slight favorites over Detroit at .633 vs. .639.  Revised ALCS probabilities are now:

Yankees: 50.6%
Tigers: 49.4%

So instead of Tigers in 4, figure more like Tigers in 4.1.

[17] what sport uses that format?

The NHL I think.

NBA has in the past.

I have an awful, awful feeling about Kuroda on short rest. He was apparently so tired at the end of the year that they were giving him *extra* rest. Maybe a few innings I suppose.

Fucking Arod, if he had just gotten that run in from 3rd…

I worry this series will be like 2010 where the pitching dominated in the ALDS only to get kinda smacked around against Texas*. Looked up both opponents thinking that Texas was a much better offensive team that year than Detroit is this year, only to find Texas had a combined 98 OPS+ and Detroit has a combined 104 (with the same actual team OPS).

*Fun fact: Clay Rapada was on that team.

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