I’m counting down the days until the postseason begins, as teams finish up the regular season over the next week. A lot of games are pretty meaningless with teams starting to turn their attention to the postseason, and others focusing on their vacation plans. There are a few still playing important baseball, and as a fan, those are really the only interesting games left to watch. For the most part, there are a lot of glorified exhibition baseball games taking place this time of the year, though. Just like training camp, teams are getting a feel for what they have for next season. Betting the house isn’t advised.
We’re going to Kansas City tonight, where the Tigers and Royals meet for a meaningless game in the American League Central. The Royals are 6 games back of the wildcard, and the Tigers were irrelevant months ago. In other words, we have one of those games that doesn’t mean very much. The only thing for me in this game is a reminder of what could have been for the Tigers. Jordan Zimmermann, who was supposed to be the final piece of the rotation for the Tigers, gets the start on Wednesday night.
Zimmermann hasn’t materialized in Detroit, and he’s become a massive $100 million eyesore on their roster. He was the guy to replace Max Scherzer, and Scherzer continued on playing at a high-rate of play with the Nats, while Zimmermann came from the Nats and his career crumbled. Like others on this roster, Anibal Sanchez for instance, they’re eating the payroll and giving nothing in return.
Bad luck and terrible moves by the Tigers has put them in this position. Detroit would feel so much better if they could just snap their fingers and Sanchez and Zimmermann’s contracts were gone. They already shed a lot of weight, but those are two they’d like to see gone right now. For the Royals, they made it interesting for a minute in the wildcard race, but it looks like they’re going to come up short. Zimmermann faces Jason Hammel tonight. Head below for the Tigers vs. Royals pick.
Detroit Tigers vs. K.C. Royals Pick
Jordan Zimmermann (8-13, 6.19 ERA) vs. Jason Hammel (8-13, 5.32 ERA)
The Tigers have been emptying out their minor league system in the bullpen. There have been guys coming out of the Tigers’ bullpen for the last month that are minor leaguers. That might as well see what they got in the minors, but for the most part, all of them have been getting torched. It’s well-known how bad the Tigers’ pen is, dead last in the majors, but when they started going to the minors it got really ugly. The Tigers have a team ERA of 5.66 from the relievers. The next worst is the Mets, who have a 4.80 ERA so it’s not even debatable which team has the worst bullpen in baseball.
Zimmermann comes in with an overall ERA of 6.19 and hasn’t shown signs of improvement. There was a stretch between August 12th to the 23rd where he allowed 7 runs in each start. In his last three outings, he holds a 7.07 ERA and 2.00 WHIP. I don’t know what’s wrong, but he really has to see a doctor or go back to the drawing board. Hammel has been awful as well, posting a 12.79 ERA in his last three starts, with a 2.53 WHIP and .458 OBA. I don’t see how there is anything else but runs on the board tonight. I have a lean on the Royals but I’m not backing Hammel at that price.
PICK: OVER 9.5 (-110)