Jim Leyland announced the Detroit Tigers Playoff Starting rotation and to almost noones surprise, Max Scherzer will start game one for the Tigers in Oakland. Max scherzer lead the league in wins with 21 and finished 5th in ERA. He has also held opponents to a .198 batting average.
While commenting on his starting pitchers, Jim Leyland said this about his game one starter,
“I truly feel that I could start any one of my guys and I would feel comfortable,” Leyland said. “I think that the kind of year Scherzer’s had … I’m sure somebody will find something wrong with this choice, but I think that’s kind of hard to argue.”
If Leyland truly feels comfortable with anyone starting game 1 then why not Sanchez or Verlander? Was Max Scherzer really the right choice for this series?
Max has been a road warrior this season posting a 9-2 record with a 2.28 ERA on the road. But his numbers against Oakland leave a lot to be desired. Scherzer failed to get a decsison against the Oakland A’s this season while posting a 4.91 ERA against them. His WHIP of 1.364 is the fourth highest among teams he has faced this season. Oakland is also hitting .295 against Scherzer this season.
Bottom line Oakland has had a lot success against Max Scherzer in 2013. For a manager that talks about playing the numbers, Scherzer is an odd choice to start game one considering the opponent. In fact, both Anibal Sanchez have Justin Verlander have better numbers against Oakland this season. That said, Verlander agrees with Leyland’s decision.
If it was me, I’d probably make the same decision,” Verlander said. “Max has had a magical season, and when a guy has a season like that and everything’s going right, why not ride it?”
There is something to be said for going with the hot hand. It is also hard to argue with starting the probable 2013 Cy Young award winner.
The Detroit Tigers Starting Rotation for the ALDS is as follows:
- Max Scherzer – 21-3
- Justin Verlander – 13-12
- Anibal Sanchez - 14-8
- Doug Fister – 14-9
See how it all plays out starting on Friday when the Tigers take on the Oakland Athletics. First pitch 9:37 pm.