No time for an in-depth analysis, but here are some quick notes on how the lineup for the Detroit Tigers has performed, and should perform, against the Texas Rangers.
The most interesting thing about the Rangers’ pitching is the fact that three of their four scheduled ALCS starters (C.J. Wilson, Derek Holland, and Matt Harrison) are southpaws. This bodes well for the Tigers, as they hit .287 off left-handed starters in the regular season compared to .272 against right-handed starters.
Current Tigers have only had limited success in 31 at bats against Holland, hitting .258 with three home runs. They’ve also been mostly shut down by Wilson, the Rangers’ ace, who has held them to a combined .203 average. Those are the most encouraging numbers for the Texas staff, however, and their ace will be throwing for a side that will be trying to scratch a run or two out of Justin Verlander.
Matt Harrison has been shelled by current Tigers, serving up six home runs and 34 hits in 88 at bats (which is a .386 batting average). Even the left-handed hitting Alex Avila has had success against Harrison; he’s 4-for-4 with a double and a home run.
Tiger hitters have had very similar success against the Ranger rotation’s lone right-hander, Colby Lewis, as currently rostered players are hitting .356 off him with four home runs. On June 6th, the Tigers got to Lewis, who will start game three in Detroit, for nine runs on ten hits and a walk over 3.1 innings. His game score of six was the worst posted by a starter opposing the Tigers all year.
The Tigers went 6-3 against Texas this year, with all three losses coming in Alexi Ogando starts. Ogando is not currently a member of the Rangers’ postseason rotation, but rather is pitching out of the bullpen. In his three starts against Detroit, he went 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA.
Detroit scored 45 runs in their nine games facing Texas pitching. In those games, the Tigers batted .317 as a team and clubbed a total of ten home runs. Ryan Raburn, Miguel Cabrera, Alex Avila, Victor Martinez, and Austin Jackson were a combined 58-for-152 (.382) this year against the Rangers.
In short, the Tigers offense has a lot going for them. Hopefully some of their struggling bats can come alive and provide a spark to a lineup that has been only okay so far in the playoffs.