WinView Games Playbook: Yankees vs Tigers - September 1
Steve Pimental breaks down Saturday's matchup between the Yankees and Tigers to give you his take on what to watch for in this MLB contest on WinView Games.
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Detroit Tigers @ New York Yankees
New York Yankees -340
Games Total: 8.5
Game Play Predictions
- The Tigers have a .302 wOBA over the last week, including a league-worst 4.0 percent walk rate over that span. Detroit’s 25.1 percent strikeout rate is the fifth worst over the last seven days.
- Detroit should be happy to see the calendar flip to September, as they had the fourth-lowest OBP at .300 during August.
- Unfortunately for the Tigers, they still have two more games at Yankee Stadium. Only the Orioles have a lower wOBA on the road than the Tigers. Detroit also has the second lowest OBP away from home.
- If Detroit has a chance, it is because Masahiro Tanaka is struggling a bit himself right now. Tanaka is 0-3 with a 4.40 ERA in his last five starts.
- On the season, Tanaka has a 3.97 ERA, 4.36 FIP and 3.57 xFIP.
- As has been the case for each of the last two years, Tanaka has struggled with home runs, allowing 1.63 HR/9 this season. He is striking out more than a batter per inning for the third time in his career, but his 2.20 BB/9 is the highest of his career.
- It is a bit remarkable that Tanaka struggles so much with home runs considering his 47.1 percent groundball rate, which is just below his career average of 47.8 percent.
- In his career, Tanaka has actually been better at Yankee Stadium, with a 3.43 ERA at home and a 3.81 ERA on the road.
- Victor Martínez is batting .339 over his last 17 games.
- Niko Goodrum is 5-for-8 with two home runs over his last two games.
- The Tigers have a rather limited history against Tanaka, and it is a rather mixed bag. Mikie Mahtook and Nick Castellanos are a combined 3-for-22 against Tanaka.
- On the other hand, Victor Martínez is 3-for-12 with five RBI against Tanaka, and James McCann is 3-for-8 in his career against Tanaka.
- Niko Goodrum has the 10th highest strikeout rate in baseball at 27.4 percent, while Jeimer Candelario ’s 25.1 percent strikeout rate ranks 18th.
- On the other end of the spectrum, Victor Martínez has the third lowest strikeout rate in baseball at 9.1 percent.
New York Yankees
- Daniel Norris will pitch for the Tigers in his first outing since April thanks to a groin injury. Norris struggled in April, with a 5.87 ERA in 15.1 innings, and he wasn’t much better in 2017, with a 5.31 ERA and 3.90 BB/9 in 101.2 innings.
- Norris has made three minor-league starts during his rehab stint, with none lasting more than four innings.
- Norris is expected to throw about 90 pitches Saturday.
- While Norris probably won’t go deep into this game, he could have a long day facing the Yankees. The Yankees have the second highest OPS in baseball against righties, and their 10.6 percent walk rate against lefties is the best in MLB.
- The Yankees lineup is also formidable at home, where their .825 OPS trails only the Red Sox.
- Andrew McCutchen and Gary Sánchez are expected to be in the lineup Saturday. McCutchen was acquired in a trade from the Giants on Friday and Sanchez is coming off a groin injury that has kept him out for over a month.
- McCutchen hasn’t been great this year, but he will surely be an upgrade in right field. Yankees right fielders are batting .189 since Aaron Judge went on the disabled list with a wrist injury.
- For his part, Sanchez homered twice in his four-game rehab stint at Triple-A.
- Giancarlo Stanton hit his 300th career home run Thursday, and his 33 homers on the season help make up for his 29.8 percent strikeout rate, which is the sixth highest among qualified hitters.
- Despite the home run Thursday, Stanton is still 4-for-31 over his last seven days.
- Stanton could break out of his slump Saturday, however, as his 1.096 OPS against lefties is the fifth highest among qualified batters.
- Miguel Andujar ’s 4.0 percent walk rate is the eighth lowest in baseball.
- The Yankees have been led by their young players of late. Luke Voit went 15-for-45 with four home runs in August.
- Miguel Andujar is 11-for-33 with 21 total bases over the last seven days while Gleyber Torres is 13-for-27 with 22 total bases over that same span.
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J. Soler - DH
Soler went 1-for-4 with a solo home run and a walk in a victory over the Mariners on Tuesday.
W. Merrifield - RF
Merrifield went 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs, six runs batted in and three runs scored in Tuesday's rout of the Mariners.
Y. Kikuchi - SP
Kikuchi (3-5) took the loss against Kansas City on Tuesday, pitching five innings and allowing six runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out five.
H. Bailey - SP
Bailey (6-6) held the Mariners scoreless over 7.2 innings to pick up the win Tuesday, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out six.
K. Hernández - 2B
Hernandez belted a grand slam and walked in a victory over the Giants on Tuesday.
J. Pederson - LF
Pederson went 1-for-3 with a solo home run in a win against the Giants on Tuesday.
C. Kershaw - SP
Kershaw (7-1) pitched seven scoreless innings against San Francisco on Tuesday to earn the win, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out six.
H. Velázquez - RP
Velazquez left Tuesday's loss to Boston in the 17th inning due to an undisclosed injury, according to the Twins television broadcast. He had given up one run over four innings with three strikeouts before departing.