2011 ALDS Prediction – Yankees and Tigers

NY Yankees @ Detroit ALDS Prediction

Starting Pitching – Two aces – C.C. and Verlander meet in what might be the most critical game one is the history of the division Series. It’s not a terribly bold statement to assume that the winner of game one will win the series, nor it is overly bold to state that the series will end in a sweep. The playoffs are all about momentum and the game one winner will have the lion’s share for the next two games. The pitchers on both sides for games two and three are mediocre at best, meaning lots of runs, which favors the team with “mo”.

Joe Girardi has decided again to go with a three man rotation. That puts a ton of pressure on C.C. having to return for a game four with only three days’ rest. Come on, Joe you don’t trust Colon, Hughes or Burnett out there? Wow, you have a few bas starts and the manager turns on you.

  1. C.C. Sabathia
  2. Justin Verlander
  3. Take your pick between Nova, Fister, Porcello, Garcia and Scherzer, games two and three will look like the entry to Macy’s on Black Friday.

Edge – Yankees, slightly

Relief Pitching – How much do you want to bet that Jose Valverde blows a save in this series? “Papa Grande” went 49-49 in save situations, anyone remember Gary Anderson of the Vikings and his perfect regular season! In an honest moment, Tigers fan would openly admit that it would have been better if Valverde would have blown one of those meaningless September games.

Valverde has been solid, but he walks the tight rope a little more than you would like out of a closer, his 2011 BABIP is a little low, suggesting that he might have lady lucky on his side this season. And the Yankees closer is this guy named “La Arena El Hombre“, yeah, the Yankees have the advantage.

Also, the Yankee setup guys (Soriano, Robertson and Logan) have a slight advantage over the Tigers (Coke, Benoit and Alburquerque).

Edge – Yankees

Offensive Intangibles – These are two hulking, brawny offenses that hit the ball with authority and have no need to play small ball. Though it’s close, the Tigers top offensive players have been better than their Yankees counterparts in virtually all offensive categories, except salary.

The best base stealer on either team is Brett Gardner, but with the Yankees lineup will he even be given a chance to run? My guess, neither team is going to apply too much pressure to the others defense for fear of taking the bat out of the hands of the competent, highly priced bat.

Edge – Tigers

Finish – The Tigers played the “key” 50 at 34-16. The Yankees 31-19, not a huge difference between the teams; the difference is easily explainable by the fact the Yankees play in the AL East teams while the Tigers were fattening up on the AL Central.

Edge – Even

Managers – It’s a bit of a panic move by Girardi to opt for a three man rotation, but he literally doesn’t have any viable options with Hughes, Burnett and Colon. Those three were so inept in meaningless games down the stretch that Girardi would be better off sending himself to the mound.

I would also throw this in – the “Dream Team” was in the same division as the Yankees this season, so they were a pre-season after-thought; therefore, for the Yankees winning the division is a bonus, so they’re playing with house money this post-season. That makes them an extremely dangerous team and Girardi will be at his best. Plus, Leyland spends the majority of his in-game time running between the dugout and clubhouse ramp to get in a smoke!

Edge – Yankees

Anti-Yankee bias – Uh, it’s the Yankees, I hope they lose in three games by a combined score of 68-0. And unlike the Twins, the Tigers have sacked up to beat the Yankees in the post-season, so I’ve got that going for me.

Edge – Tigers

Prediction – Yankees 3 Tigers 1


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