Unfortunately we were dealt another loss with yesterday’s Phillies vs. Giants pick. Jake Arrieta cruised through the first five innings as he took a 1-0 lead into the sixth, and that’s when things fell apart. The Giants scored five runs in the sixth and tacked on another in the eighth to win this one by a 6-1 score, sweeping the Phillies in the process. I mentioned in yesterday’s pick I was relying on Arrieta to continue his recent dominance, and he did through five innings, but the Phillies’ offense scored just one run in three games over the weekend which is the main reason why they were swept.
I’ll look to turn things around tonight as I take my attention to Comerica Park in Detroit where the Tigers and New York Yankees will play the night cap of a day/night double header.
The Yankees and Tigers were rained out twice in their three-game set from April 13-15 in Detroit, and the previously scheduled April 15th double-header will be made up this evening.
The Tigers are coming off a series win over the Blue Jays but dropped yesterday’s finale by an 8-4 score while the Yankees took the first two games of a series in Baltimore before yet another postponement in yesterday’s series finale.
New York owns a one-game lead over the Red Sox for top spot in the AL East at 37-17 while the Tigers sit 2.5 games back of the AL Central lead despite their 28-31 record.
New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers
Domingo German (5.45 ERA, 4.55 FIP, 1.33 WHIP) vs. Mike Fiers (4.45 ERA, 5.12 FIP, 1.34 WHIP)
After Luis Severino kicks things off for the pin stripes in Game 1, the Yankees will turn to young right-hander Domingo German for Game 2.
German has been a bit of a mixed bag in his four starts since being moved up from the bullpen when Jordan Montgomery hit the DL. German has been blown up for six earned runs twice, however has allowed a combined three earned runs to tough offenses against the Indians and Astros in his other two starts. He brings strong strikeout stuff into play with a 27.5% strikeout clip on the season, although he’d like to bring his 11.4% walk rate down closer to the 7.1% mark he finished with at Triple-A last season.
While the Tigers offense has surprised to the upside a little bit this season, they are more pesky than lethal. Detroit’s team .706 OPS against right-handed pitching ranks them 20th in the league while their 35 homers against righties ranks them 25th despite Detroit having the sixth-most at-bats against right-handers this season.
Fiers’ lack of strikeout stuff and issues with the home run ball are not a good concoction for success against this Yankees club. His strikeout clip sits at a tiny 15.3% mark this season while he has allowed 1.88 HR/9, continuing a troubling trend from last season where he yielded an almost identical 1.87 HR/9.
Fiers was the starting pitcher in the one game that didn’t get rain out between the two clubs in the aforementioned April series, and it did not go well. He yielded six runs (five earned) on eight hits including two home runs while walking one in 5.2 innings. I am looking for similar results tonight.
This Yankees offense is not one to be messed with. It’s essentially a two-headed race for the best offense in baseball right now and the Yankees are a touch behind the Red Sox at the moment. New York’s .812 team OPS, .473 SLG, 244 runs and 66 homers are all the second most in the majors behind Boston. The latter two figures are very impressive considering the Yankees have the fifth-least at-bats against right-handers in the MLB this season.
German is a little bit of a wild card, but I have plenty of faith in the Bronx Bombers getting to Fiers tonight. The Tigers offense was quieted right-hander in Aaron Sanchez yesterday and with Detroit running out most of their regulars for Game 1, we could see a watered-down Tigers lineup in Game 2 as they look to spread the playing time around their young players. I think this one has the potential to be a very lopsided affair.