2011 ALDS Friday
September 30, 2011 by staff
2011 ALDS Friday, From Friday night 8:37 pm at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees and Tigers meet in the Division Series American League for the second time in the last six seasons, and Yankees fans, of course, unfortunately remember the 2006 series as one in which the bats were cold and the likes of Kenny Rogers and Jeremy Bonderman complete closure of what had been the most potent offense in the league. The Tigers do not easily beat the Yankees in four games and was the only previous time the two teams have met in the playoffs, Detroit has a 1-0 record against the Yankees series all-time in October. In addition, the ’06 Tiger victory also represents the only time the Yankees have ever lost a Division Series, when he was home field advantage. I think it’s safe to say that the Yankees would love to be able to demand a measure of revenge on this occasion.
Unfortunately for the Yankees, this year’s Detroit team (0336 wOBA, 109 WRC +, an in-your-first Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera), is probably better than the pennant-winning 2006 team (0331 wOBA, WRC 97 +) who lost to the Cardinals in the 2006 World Series. The Yankees also have not fared so well at Comerica Park with a 22-25 all-time record since the stadium opened in 2000 and, more recently, 10-12 since the start of 2006 – not included the loss of two games played in Detroit in the ’06 ALDS – making the fact that the Yankees have home field advantage in this series a very important factor.
Before continuing, it is important to note that overall team statistics, of course, the product of all the players who donned a uniform for a given team during the season, not to mention the fact that what the teams did during the regular season doesn “t tell us who has the better offense, pitching, et. al. in a playoff series (h / t SG) and, as such, in some cases, the numbers of the team will probably be a little better once the equipment reduce their lists back to who they feel are their best 25 players. That said, I still think that a sample of 162 games primarily composed of statistics of the players would be expected to make the roster postseason can at least be a useful barometer to assess and compare the strengths of a team and weaknesses of each other.
The Yankees (0346 wOBA, 113 WRC +) and Tigers (0336 wOBA, 109 WRC +) were two of the four offenses in the American League in 2011. The Yankees do with patience (at best in the league% BB) and power (ISO best in the league), while the Tigers are a bit more swing-tastic (5 th best BB%, from 5 to worst % K), and experienced the best of luck on balls in play in the American League (.318 BABIP).
While we do a more thorough look at the Tiger offensive later, a great advantage for Detroit is that they have arguably the best hitter in baseball – and arguably the best hitter of all players who play in this series – in Miguel Cabrera, who finished wOBA becoming the second highest in all majors with a .436 mark surpassed only by Jose Bautista in 0441. Cabrera has made a living killing the Yankees, and his 1168 OPS in his career against the Bombers is their best mark against any team. The Yankees are surely going to have to work hard for them to try to contain Cabrera.
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