The Detroit Tigers have been the talk of the league since the trade deadline (along with the Oakland A’s). And for good reason. Detroit has assembled one of the most impressive five-man “paper” rotations in recent memory, rivaling those great rotations Ruben Amaro assembled in Philadelphia. The Tigers now boast the last three American League Cy Young winners in their rotation along with last year’s ERA champion, Anibal Sanchez and All-Star Rick Porcello. The most recent Cy Young champ gets his chance to start on Monday when the Tigers take on the New York Yankees. And Max Scherzer is listed as a -125 favorite to beat Brandon McCarthy and the New York Yankees.
Like most, I’m pretty bullish on the Tigers kind of cruising through the American League for the rest of the season. They just have so much talent on a day-in and day-out basis that I see the Detroit lines getting pretty crazy in the next few weeks. Tomorrow’s is surprisingly short given the matchup.
Despite going to Yankee Stadium, Detroit is still a relatively small favorite with Max Scherzer riding the momentum of a couple good starts in a row. It hasn’t been the easiest season for Scherzer. He’s still accumulated very good numbers, but not like he did last season. He’s been hit a little bit more and has surrendered more home runs. I think a good amount of the disparity is due to variance. And you can tell he’s had some frustrating times this season, pitching through rough innings. But that fact that he’s pitched through them and demanded to stay in the game tells me that he feels similar to last year in terms of how he’s throwing the ball. Now that he’s made two quality, seven-inning starts in a row, it could be time for him to rip off a stretch of five, six dominant weeks.
Meanwhile, the Yankees are in the fifth inning of their Sunday Night Baseball game against the Red Sox as I write this. It looks like it will be a busy night on the bullpen and a late night traveling home from Fenway Park. Not exactly the conditions you want going for you when Scherzer is the opponent. I have been a Brandon McCarthy supporter throughout this season because of his strong peripherals. He had been regarded as the unluckiest pitcher in the league prior to his trade with New York and he’s started to progress toward his expected numbers with New York. That said, he is still the type of pitcher who really picks on mediocre and bad offenses, while just throwing serviceably against the great ones. Detroit qualifies as a great offense, so I just don’t think he’ll be able to keep up with Scherzer tomorrow.
Back the Tigers while you can still get them at a reasonable price.
Free Pick: Detroit (-125)
YTD: 28-21-2 +3.88