October 13, 2012
ALCS Game One Preview: Yankees vs. Tigers
The Tigers and Yankees burned their aces to clinch their Division Series matchups with the Athletics and Orioles, respectively. Hence, they will have to make do with their number-two starters in Game One of the ALCS, which takes place in the Bronx. Here are the PECOTA odds and projected starting lineups for the opener:
Projected Starting Lineups
The good news for the Tigers is that of the four teams that enjoyed home-field advantage in the Division Series, only one advanced. The bad news: That one club was the Yankees, who took two of three from the Orioles in New York. And with the post-season veteran Pettitte on the mound in the opener, PECOTA expects the Yankees to grab a 1-0 lead.
Detroit did not face the 40-year-old Pettitte during the regular season—or in 2010, or in 2009, for that matter. The last time Pettitte toed the rubber against the Tigers was on April 30, 2008, and the only holdover in Jim Leyland’s lineup is Cabrera, who at the time played first base. Ivan Rodriguez, a future Yankee, hit leadoff. Placido Polanco—this is not a misprint—hit two home runs in one game. Gary Sheffield, a former Yankee, hit third. Granderson entered as a defensive replacement for fellow future Yankee, Marcus Thames. And future Yankee Clay Rapada pitched in relief of Jeremy Bonderman.
How is all of that significant? It means the Tigers will be relying heavily on their advance scouts for information about the 2012 Pettitte—and the data they will get, according to one of Buster Olney’s sources, may be dubious. Pettitte seemed as sharp as ever during the regular season, logging a 2.87 ERA and allowing only four stolen bases over 12 starts, but he did not take on a single American League playoff team, and he proceeded to lose his Game Two duel with Wei-Yin Chen.