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Front Page: Series Preview: Let's Get Down To Business

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#1 Matt Braun

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:00 AM

As we continue through the “cupcake” part of the schedule, it’s good to re-evaluate the status of the team after each series as it feels like their play recently has had the same peaks and valleys of a heartbeat monitor. They gave the Rangers the business before losing another home series, this time to a weak White Sox team. But I maintain that their play in both series was awfully similar and lady luck in game 1 of the White Sox series is the only thing standing between a series win and the series loss they suffered. Nonetheless, they move on to facing the Tigers at home and I have my choice of a number of Motown artists, Jack White, and Eminem, a solid list you have there, Detroit.Brief Overview:

Let’s not mince words here, Detroit is a poor team who has somehow even played below the level of the lowly Orioles this year. Their talent is few and far between and even harder to spot after Nick Castellanos and Shane Greene were dealt at the deadline. They currently have no qualified hitters with a wRC+ over 100 and just a small handful of pitchers who would be considered useful on any good team. I’m being harsh here but it really is hard to compliment a team that is 38-87 on the year and has already been eliminated from AL Central contention.

What They Do Well:

Oh lord, well, I’ll really be stretching what it means to “do well” in something, and liberties will have to be taken given the context of their baseball-reference page. The Tigers do actually have some solid starting pitching as they rank 13th in baseball by fWAR for starters. Most of this is carried by the efforts of Matt Boyd, Spencer Turnbull, and Daniel Norris who have all been able to soak innings with peripherals that range from “good” to “passable” which is truly something to note for a team in this situation.

Usually I have more here but honest to God I cannot find anything worth writing about.

What They Do Not Do Well:

OOOH BABY, how much time do I have? Well, let’s start with the offense that’s about as offensive as Mister Rogers. They have the worst team wRC+ in baseball with a 76 mark which is just one point ahead of Nick Punto’s Twins wRC+. It gets even worse when looking at just the last seven days in which they’ve held a mark of 50 and have struck out an incredible 36.6% of the time. I mentioned before that they currently have no qualified hitters with a mark that is at or above average (100) and the only player above that line is Travis Demeritte and his 109 mark in just 77 plate appearances.

“Does it get worse?” My sweet summer child, it always can. Their bullpen FIP is the third highest in baseball at 5.11. You want a comparison for that? Addison Reed had a FIP of 5.11 with the Twins... that’s the most horrific statement I’ve probably ever written. After trading Greene, they’re left with just a single reliever with a FIP under 4.00 who has thrown more than 10 innings. You want to guess who it is? Surprisingly, it isn’t Joe Jiménez but actually the wonderfully named Buck Farmer. But after him, there's a bunch of sketch and not a lot of experience.

Individuals Of Note:

Matt Boyd has been a good starting pitcher this year with peripherals that suggests an even better pitcher is deep down within him, but the home run problem that has nagged him for months now remains one of the biggest reasons why there is such a difference between his ERA and xFIP. Only 5 qualified starters in the AL have a higher HR/FB % than Boyd’s 17.6% mark. A guy with a homer problem going up against the 2019 Twins? What could go wrong. Although, Boyd was placed on the paternity list recently so his status for this series is up in the air.

One of the other starters I mentioned was Spencer Turnbull who can pitch as well as someone named “Spencer Turnbull” should be able to. His FIP of 4.18 is solid but his real talent is the Rick Anderson special-the ground ball, and his GB% of 48.8% would be the seventh highest among qualified AL starters if he were qualified.

Ex-Twins’ farmhand (and major leaguer for all of like 5 minutes), Niko Goodrum, is having the only real noteworthy season from a Tigers’ position player as he’s the only one still with the team who is above .3 fWAR (he’s at 1.9) and he also looks to be the only position player on the Tigers to eclipse the 2.0 mark set for “average” major leaguers. Goodrum is currently BABIP-ing his way to a solid year as a multi-positional-weapon as he has logged innings at every position except for catcher and as this article is being written he sits with a respectable wRC+ of 94. As snarkily mentioned before, his BABIP on the year is an above average .341 so he may be due for some regression but even if he is, he remains one of the few bright spots on the Tigers.

Recent History:

The Twins and Tigers have played a few times this year and the Twins are 6-3 against them but the last series against them came all the way back in the second week of June which might as well be an eternity ago.

Recent Trajectories:

The Twins are 8-8 over their last 5 series while the Tigers are 6-11 over their last 5 series.

Pitching Match-ups:

Friday: Berríos vs VerHagen
Saturday: Gibson vs Jackson (holy crap it’s Edwin Jackson)
Sunday: Pérez vs Boyd

(The Tigers rotation is in limbo so this may change)

Ending Thoughts:

The Tigers are bad, like, really bad. Potentially some weird “baseball-like” thing will occur like it did the other day when they were able to beat Justin Verlander and the Astros at Houston, but there should really be no reason or excuse that the Twins can’t take the series or sweep. In my eyes, a series win is the very least they can do and a sweep should be expected given the difference between the two teams, but I would still lead with some caution given how tricky baseball can be sometimes. Anyway, I will call a sweep despite the fact that I am now on a two-series wrong streak. Hopefully I’ll get back on track.

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#2 IndianaTwin

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:09 AM

So you’re saying the Tigers lineup is essentially this?

1. Nick Punto
2. Nick Punto
3. Nick Punto
4. Nick Punto
5. Nick Punto
6. Nick Punto
7. Nick Punto
8. Nick Punto
9. Nick Punto

Does that mean they get to use ghost runners if they get someone on base?
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#3 JW24

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:15 AM

 

Let’s not mince words here, Detroit is a poor team who has somehow even played below the level of the lowly Orioles this year. Their talent is few and far between and even harder to spot after Nick Castellanos and Shane Greene were dealt at the deadline. They currently have no qualified hitters with a wRC+ over 100 and just a small handful of pitchers who would be considered useful on any good team. I’m being harsh here but it really is hard to compliment a team that is 38-87 on the year and has already been eliminated from AL Central contention.

You could have been way more harsh here. Detroit is not trying to win games, and they have assembled the worst lineup in all of baseball. Matthew Boyd is their only competent starting pitcher (I do like Turnbull though). They are awful, intentionally at this point, and should be called out.

 

Looks like Detroit has shuffled their starting pitching a bit for this weekend as well. Drew VerHagen tonight, Jackson Saturday, then Boyd.


#4 blindeke

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:22 AM

 

So you’re saying the Tigers lineup is essentially this?

1. Nick Punto
2. Nick Punto
3. Nick Punto
4. Nick Punto
5. Nick Punto
6. Nick Punto
7. Nick Punto
8. Nick Punto
9. Nick Punto

Does that mean they get to use ghost runners if they get someone on base?

 

I feel bad for the 1st base bag. It's gonna get a beating with all those headfirst slides.

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#5 Number3

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:55 AM

I would put tonight's game ion the must win category after losing the 'Sox series. Thanks to the Mets the Twins still have a 3.5 game lead and losing tonight would not be a disaster in the standings. Nevertheless, it is a game that a serious playoff contender should not lose, period.

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#6 ScooterDance

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 08:17 AM

I would put tonight's game ion the must win category after losing the 'Sox series. Thanks to the Mets the Twins still have a 3.5 game lead and losing tonight would not be a disaster in the standings. Nevertheless, it is a game that a serious playoff contender should not lose, period.


I mean Verlander just lost at home to the Tigers in one of the biggest upsets in modern regular season baseball. Reasonably certain the astros are a serious playoff contender.
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#7 SpicyGarvSauce

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 08:19 AM

 

So you’re saying the Tigers lineup is essentially this?

1. Nick Punto
2. Nick Punto
3. Nick Punto
4. Nick Punto
5. Nick Punto
6. Nick Punto
7. Nick Punto
8. Nick Punto
9. Nick Punto

Does that mean they get to use ghost runners if they get someone on base?

 

How big would Gardy's smile be if he had a lineup full of actually 9 Nick Punto?

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#8 SpicyGarvSauce

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 08:19 AM

This series has to be a sweep. Has to.

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#9 MMMordabito

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 08:23 AM

 

I would put tonight's game ion the must win category after losing the 'Sox series. Thanks to the Mets the Twins still have a 3.5 game lead and losing tonight would not be a disaster in the standings. Nevertheless, it is a game that a serious playoff contender should not lose, period.

 

On top of that ... Berrios can ill-afford another dud, especially against this team

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#10 Rosterman

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 08:37 AM

You just never know. I hope the Twins do their homework on the pitchers and make adjustments as the game goes. What I fear the msot is the rotation NOT being able to get to five innings. Other teams are learning that the Twins like to NOT throw strikes (see what happened when Pineda did it, he got 7 innings). They also need to manufacture runs. No one bunts. The stolen base is dead. Putting pressure on the opposing pitcher or fielders to make a bad move happens more as a fluke.

 

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#11 PDX Twin

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 09:10 AM

Is the squirrel in the lineup for tonight?

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It's great to get out of the cellar ... as long as you bring something with you.


#12 theBOMisthebomb

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 09:20 AM

Why oh why did our Gardy ever take the Tigers job?

#13 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 09:27 AM

 

Why oh why did our Gardy ever take the Tigers job?

Not sure, but I don't think he had any other options. It was stay in retirement or get paid more money. He chose to take the money. That said, it can't be any fun and I am not sure how long he will last there. 

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#14 Danchat

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 11:06 AM

Not sure, but I don't think he had any other options. It was stay in retirement or get paid more money. He chose to take the money. That said, it can't be any fun and I am not sure how long he will last there.

He has a passion for coaching and it was a chance to get his old buddies together one last time. He should have been aware that this team was going to be bad for a few years...
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Analyzing the Past Decade of Vikings Offseasons


#15 Danchat

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 02:28 PM

Drew VerHagen is starting today for Detroit, not Boyd. That’s great news, so we had better win this one!
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Analyzing the Past Decade of Vikings Offseasons


#16 h2oface

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 03:25 PM

 

I mean Verlander just lost at home to the Tigers in one of the biggest upsets in modern regular season baseball. Reasonably certain the astros are a serious playoff contender.

 

Verlander pitched a complete game 99 pitch 2 hitter with 11 Ks, and lost 2-1. Both hits were solo homers (seemingly Verlander's only weakness, and he has given up 33 so far this year, one behind Leake from leading MLB), the second to lead off the 9th to break a 1-1 tie. The Tigers used 4 pitchers that went 3-4-1-1 innings and only gave up 6 hits and a homer of their own. Houston did not hit. I would take a complete game (which doesn't exist for the Twins' pitching this year) 2 hitter any outing from our vaunted staff.

 

To have any safe feelings at this point, and for the Twins to lose focus and take anything for granted at all, would be folly.


#17 ScooterDance

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 05:37 PM

Verlander pitched a complete game 99 pitch 2 hitter with 11 Ks, and lost 2-1. Both hits were solo homers (seemingly Verlander's only weakness, and he has given up 33 so far this year, one behind Leake from leading MLB), the second to lead off the 9th to break a 1-1 tie. The Tigers used 4 pitchers that went 3-4-1-1 innings and only gave up 6 hits and a homer of their own. Houston did not hit. I would take a complete game (which doesn't exist for the Twins' pitching this year) 2 hitter any outing from our vaunted staff.
 
To have any safe feelings at this point, and for the Twins to lose focus and take anything for granted at all, would be folly.


Don’t disagree with any of that. I was responding to the hyperbole of:

Any serious playoff contender doesn’t lose this game.

It’s a 162 game season. A team from rookie ball could beat the 27 Yankees (which I think are now the 2019 twins)

#18 IndyTwinsFan

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 10:17 PM

Problem in the first game was that the pitching staff mostly forgot to show up (again). It's hard to beat any team when your pitching staff is throwing up junk to a mostly AAA lineup that should only be seen in batting practice.

#19 IndyTwinsFan

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 10:20 PM

This series has to be a sweep. Has to.

Too bad it won't be. Although I hope it doesn't happen that way, I can easily see the Twins losing 2 of 3 at home to the Tigers, with the way we've been playing lately.

#20 IndyTwinsFan

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 10:24 PM

On top of that ... Berrios can ill-afford another dud, especially against this team

Except that someone forget to inform him of that.



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