The All-Tiger Killer Team: Active Players Version

The look of a cold-blooded Tiger killer - Tom Szczerbowski

Which players actually play better against the Tigers compared to other teams? We took a look into the stats to see which players are true Tiger killers.

Ever find yourself watching a game and think "Man, that guy just kills us!" then come to find that he actually isn't very good (cough, Bruce Chen, cough)? Well we decided that a little bit of statistical analysis needed to come into play. Grant Brisbee brought this idea to life last week at Baseball Nation and gave us a bunch of names that I have never heard of, and Angel Berroa.

Instead of digging into the archives of Baseball Reference for guys that only Al remembers, I narrowed the list of Tiger killers down to those who have appeared in a major league game in the 2013 season. I modified Brisbee's search to include guys with at least 75 plate appearances against the Tigers, because most active guys won't have as many appearances against the Tigers and I wanted to find true Tiger killers, small sample sizes be damned.

Also, some discretion was used. For example, I omitted Albert Pujols and Jose Bautista from this list because they are killers of baseballs in general who happen to have slightly better stats against the Tigers. Nobody reading this is interested in that; they want to know which crappy players wreak havoc against Tigers pitching.

Without further ado, here is the starting lineup of active Tiger killers.

Player POS PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS tOPS+
Henry Blanco C 78 4 9 .275 .324 .536 .861 158
Justin Smoak 1B 79 6 16 .221 .329 .515 .844 147
Marco Scutaro 2B 204 7 25 .285 .356 .464 .820 125
Maicer Izturis SS 166 2 18 .295 .376 .411 .787 121
Eric Hinske 3B 153 9 24 .260 .359 .550 .909 135
David Murphy RF 131 8 24 .319 .385 .595 .979 145
DeWayne Wise CF 81 3 12 .329 .380 .562 .941 194
Luke Scott LF 96 10 25 .308 .438 .769 1.207 186
Adam Lind DH 107 8 23 .289 .346 .577 .923 135

Unfortunately, the search for pitchers wasn't quite as interesting as that for hitters. Most of the pitchers that have had a lot of success against the Tigers in their careers are actually pretty good (or were at one point), but I tried to make it fairly interesting nonetheless. Still, a few guys like Roy Halladay and Felix Hernandez were DQ'd for obvious reasons. The minimum was set at 75 innings pitched.

Player POS W-L IP ERA WHIP OPS tOPS+
Derek Lowe SP 7-4 112.0 2.57 0.973 .592 66
Zack Greinke SP 13-6 148.0 2.74 1.142 .635 80
Mark Buehrle SP 18-10 234.2 3.49 1.236 .692 89
Barry Zito SP 8-6 102.0 2.91 1.216 .668 90
Gavin Floyd SP 7-3 120.1 3.52 1.355 .723 94
LaTroy Hawkins CL 5-4 79.0 3.99 1.367 .670 77

In case you're interested in seeing the full lists of players I considered, here are the data sets for position players and pitchers, respectively.

What do you think? Are there any substitutions that should be made? Sound off in the comments.

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