Wild card implications abound! The Orioles are in a wild card spot. The Tigers are not. The O's are one game ahead of Detroit, and Detroit does not have any other teams to leapfrog. If the Tigers win tonight, they will be tied with the Orioles for a wild card spot, heading into tomorrow where it appears Zach Britton will be starting for the O's because there's apparently absolutely no one else.
Meanwhile, for tonight, it'll be Tommy Hunter opposed by Justin Verlander.
I try in each of these game thread posts to give a little analysis on the upcoming game. This game requires no further analysis than looking at its starters. Strap yourselves in, because we're probably about to take a ride on teh lollercoaster.
Actually, perhaps it's not so grim for Hunter, who, while he gives up like one gazillion home runs, may not have to face a lot of threatening hitters in this Tigers lineup other than Miguel Cabrera (30 HR) and Prince Fielder (20 HR). Except, well, there's Austin Jackson with a .508 SLG and Andy Dirks with a .526 SLG.
Coincidentally, all hitters combined have a .526 SLG against Hunter this season. That's to go along with a .304 batting average and .338 OBP. Against Hunter, Major League Baseball is essentially 2012 Adam Jones - except all of baseball strikes out less often.
I was going to write that no one in baseball has more strikeouts than Verlander, except this statement is not true. His teammate Max Scherzer has more. We will not see Scherzer in this series. R.A. Dickey has more as well, but Verlander is only one behind Dickey and four behind Scherzer, so he'll almost certainly pass those guys tonight. As we know, the Orioles love to strike out, and if you're gonna strike out in droves, it might as well be against the reigning Cy Young and MVP.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||DETROIT TIGERS|
|Nick Markakis – RF||Austin Jackson – CF|
|J.J. Hardy – SS||Andy Dirks – LF|
|Nate McLouth – LF||Miguel Cabrera – 3B|
|Adam Jones – CF||Prince Fielder – 1B|
|Matt Wieters – C||Alex Avila – C|
|Chris Davis – DH||Delmon Young – DH|
|Mark Reynolds – 1B||Brennan Boesch – RF|
|Manny Machado – 3B||Jhonny Peralta – SS|
|Omar Quintanilla – 2B||Omar Infante – 2B|