Game 2011.121: Twins at Tigers

Detroit failed to get the series sweep last night in Baltimore, but the Tigers are still 8 games over .500 (64-56)–even though they have only scored 533 runs while giving up 547.  Their Pythagorean win loss record (which uses runs scored and given up to calculate expected record) is 59-61, which means the Tigers should be in 3rd place, a game behind the White Sox.  (Although, actually, somehow every team in the Central should have a worse record than it does).

One way to look at those numbers is to say the Tigers have just plain been lucky–and consequently, can’t be expected to continue winning at the same rate all season.

On the other hand, Detroit has been doing two things that winning teams do–they have been defeating their division opponents, and they have been winning the close games:  the Tigers are 19-13 in 1-run games, and 26-16 against Central Division opponents.

Tonight Detroit comes home to start a 3-game series against Minnesota, who has lately been a favorite Central opponent:  Detroit has won 12 of the last 13 games between the two rivals, and has averaged 6.3 runs per game against them this season.

Tonight’s starter, Francisco Liriano, has seen his share of the damage, managing less than 6 total innings for his two starts, while giving up 8 runs.

Tiger starter Rick Porcello looks to get back on track after getting knocked for 8 runs by Cleveland his last start.

**breaking news, Delmon Young will be darting across the field to exchange jerseys: The Tigers have acquired Young from the Twins for Cole Nelson and a player to be named later. And he steps right into the starting lineup!

Player of the Pre-game:  Victor Martinez

V-Mart has been one of the hotter Tiger bats over the last 2 weeks (.366), and his career average against Liriano is a nice fat .476.

Today’s Look Who’s 3rd Lineup:

Austin Jackson CF
Ryan Raburn 2B
Delmon Young LF
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
Jhonny Peralta SS
Magglio Ordonez RF
Alex Avila C
Wilson Betamit 3B