I was one out away from having perfect baseball picks heading into Saturday. That loss came on the first day of the season. I’m not going to complain with only one loss to this point, but perfect sure sounds nice, doesn’t it? For our pick today, we head right back to Comerica Park in Detroit. Yesterday we hit the Tigers with ease, as they went on for a 4-0 win behind Jordan Zimmermann.
Zimmermann got off to a fast start with his new ball club, as the Yankees were able to muster up only 3 hits throughout 9 innings. Mike Pelfrey will get the start for the Tigers today at home, going up against CC Sabathia for the Yankees. Sabathia has been bumped all the way to end of the rotation in New York. A long fall for a once undisputed ace on the Yankees’ roster.
And for Pelfrey, it’s kind of funny. Funny with regards to who he is pitching for today. This is his first year as a Tiger, after facing Detroit numerous times in Minnesota. Pelfrey is a mediocre pitcher, but there has been one team he has always done well against, and that’s the Tigers. Now he is playing for them and doesn’t get to show them up. Nevertheless, he will benefit from the run support he should be able to find in Detroit.
Pelfrey has produced only two seasons in his career pitching with an ERA below 4.00. Those two years happened back in 2010 and 2008 as a Met. In other words, Pelfrey has been acting as a rotation stuffer for the majority of his career. A back of the rotation kind of guy to fill out a pitching unit.
On the Yankees’ side, CC Sabathia is coming back for his fifteenth season in the major leagues. Sabathia hasn’t been pitching well since about 2012. He posted an ERA 3.38 back then, but he’s been regressing ever since. It is just a matter of time before Sabathia needs to hang the cleats up, but for now, he must be enjoying the ride in the twilight of his career. Catch the rest of my synopsis of the Yankees and Tigers below, as we search out another winner in the first week of the MLB season.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers
CC Sabathia (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Mike Pelfrey (0-0, 0.00)
Sabathia posted an ERA of 4.78 with a 1.38 WHIP in 2013. Those numbers regressed even further in 2014, with a 5.28 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. Last season, CC pitched for a 4.73 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. Consequently, I think it is pretty easy to peg how Sabathia is going to do this season. If Sabathia can get his ERA just below 4.00, the Yankees would be ecstatic with that. Expectations for him are on the lower side of the scale. Offenses should be able to enjoy considerable success against him. The left-hander was uninspiring in spring training, getting tagged for an ERA of 5.51 over 16 innings of work. Sabathia hasn’t had the most success against the Tigers. In 238.2 innings pitched, they’ve taken him for a 4.22 ERA. Note that this takes into consideration when he was pitching well years ago.
The Tigers should be able to score a quality amount of runs in this contest. However, for them to actually win the game, Pelfrey is going to have to hold his own in this one. Against the Yankees in the past, he hasn’t been able to do his job at an optimal level. Pelfrey owns a 4.72 ERA and 1.57 WHIP against the Yankees over his ten year career. All signs point to some offense in this game. I’m not really sure how the pitching in this game is going to be able to contain the bats. The Yankees were quiet yesterday, earning only 3 hits and no runs. I expect them to find a rhythm at the plate against Pelfrey. Somebody has to win this one, but it won’t be before a plethora of runs are on the board.
PICK: OVER 9 RUNS (-105)