The Duke Debates: World Series-Detroit Tigers
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 23:10
There is no doubt who will win the World Series. The Detroit Tigers have made their mark on this season. Detroit has a deadly combination of a high-powered offense and elite-level pitching. This combination will bring them their first World Series victory since 1984.
The Tigers were shutout only twice this season, while blanking their opponents eight times. They have also known struggle during the season, so even though they may not play in the greatest division they had to play their best baseball in order to even make it to the playoffs, which they did only by a three-game margin.
Detroit was six games below .500 and six games back in their division in June, but rallied to make a final push, which got them into the ALDS. They got out to a 2-0 lead in the series against the surprising Oakland Athletics, who fought off elimination twice, before conceding game five to the Tigers. The Tigers followed that win by sweeping the New York Yankees convincingly in the ALCS.
Their pitching is dominant through the first few starters. The obvious ace is Justin Verlander, who registered a fielding independent pitching mark of 2.90, good for third in the majors for pitchers with over 170 innings pitched. The Tigers also saw Max Scherzer dominate to the tune of a 3.22 FIP good for tenth in the majors for pitchers over 170 IP. A mid-season trade helped to bolster their staff by adding solid number-three starter Anibal Sanchez, with the 22nd-best FIP in the majors at 3.54.
As a whole, the Tigers offense is generally patient at the plate. The Tigers had the ninth-best walk rate at 0.084, and the seventh-lowest strikeout rate at .180. Detroit’s .422 slugging percentage is good for seventh in the league. Their power shows in their fly ball rate, which, at 29.2 percent, is the fourth-highest in the league. They score a lot 4.48 runs per game to be exact.
The Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland stumbled upon a situation that most stat-based analysts have been talking about for a while. While most statistics people will tell you that the numbers say it is much more beneficial to use a closer at whatever situation in the game is most important whether that is in the fourth, sixth or ninth innings. While Leyland has stuck by the old-time tradition of using his closer in the ninth, he had everybody thinking he was going to be more creative and trendsetting than that.
Between their high-powered offense and stellar pitching any ingenuity they get from the bullpen can only help their chances moving forward. The Tigers [insert wed’s result here]. They will look to rebound tonight for game two tonight at 8:07 p.m. after an 8-3 loss to the Giants. However, I still believe it will be the Detroit Tigers in five.