Colby Lewis is Very Beatable


Tonight isn’t a “must win” game, but it’s the closest thing to it. The pitching matchup seems to be in the Tigers’ favor, featuring Greg Maddux-like Doug Fister vs. Colby Lewis, a former Tiger farmhand. Lewis really doesn’t like facing his old team. While he’s been very good in the last couple of seasons for the Rangers, throwing 400+ innings, an ERA around 4, and a WL of 26-23, Lewis has had trouble with the Tigers in the past.

For his career, when facing the Tigers, the right hander is 2-2 with a 7.48 ERA, while throwing just 27 innings in 5 starts, yielding 40 hits. His slash line against the Tigers is .328/.378/.557/.935, or close to Miguel Cabrera’s career averages. In fact, Lewis has faced the Tigers twice this season. In his two starts, he’s lasted only 7.1 innings, given up 20 hits and 13 runs, including 5 long balls. That’s an ERA just south of 16.

More specifically, an overarching theme vs. Colby is that he’s difficult on right handers, but very hittable vs. lefties. This season, righties are hitting .204/.237/.378/.616 off him, while lefties are hitting .274/.343/.486/.829. Moreover, his k/bb ratio vs. righties is 6.92, and only 1.95 vs lefties. That handed split of 200 points will surely play a factor in Leyland’s lineup tonight. Every left handed bat should be in the lineup.

In addition, the Tigers should be extremely aggressive early in the count tonight. Lewis’ OPS against on the first pitch of an AB is 1.123, after falling behind in the count 1-0, is 1.096, and even at 0-1, his OPS against is .951. He’s given up 15 HR in the first three pitches of the count, of the 35 long balls hit off him this year. Those numbers are higher than the league average of .865 on the first pitch, .911 at 1-0, and .793 after 0-1. The first good pitch to hit, the Tigers should jump all over it because after 2 strikes, Lewis’ numbers change drastically. His slash line against is .155/.216/.256, good for a .472 OPS, while the league average is .535 after two strikes.

In order for the Tigers to win the series, tonight is a pivotal game. Lewis presents the perfect matchup, and Fister is the Tigers’ hottest pitcher. Look for a bunch of lefties that are jumping the first few pitches in the sequence tonight, and Lewis out of the game early.