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Game 111 Preview: Yankees at Tigers

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DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 03: Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the first inning during the game against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park on August 3, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 03: Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the first inning during the game against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park on August 3, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers

Time/Place: 7:00 p.m., Comerica Park

SB Nation Blog: Pinstripe Alley

Media: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network

Pitching Matchup: LHP CC Sabathia (11-3, 3.53 ERA) vs. RHP Anibal Sanchez (6-8, 3.99 ERA)

Like the other Yankees starters scheduled to pitch in this series, Sabathia has been very good since the start of June. The difference between him and those other starters -- other than about $150 million on his contract, of course -- is that he was pretty good before June too. Other than a few missed weeks at the start of July, Sabathia has been his usual consistent self all season long. Both of his starts against the Tigers were no different; he is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 15 innings against Detroit this season.

Sanchez calmed some nerves with a solid outing in his last start, allowing just one earned run in 6+ innings of work. However, with the Indians looking like they would struggle to beat their own AAA affiliate, Sanchez still has a bit to prove today. His last start against a premier run-scoring offense (a.k.a. the Toronto Blue Jays) didn't go so well. Luckily for Sanchez, he has some nice reverse splits working in his favor. Righties have an .836 OPS against him this season, while lefties are scuffling along at a .647 clip. Given my recent tweeting history, this makes sense.

The Yankees had five left-handed hitters in the lineup last night, a number that I wouldn't expect to change save for maybe Andruw Jones getting the nod over Raul Ibanez.

Outlook

It's time to get greedy. The Yankees are in a bit of a funk right now and the Tigers' offense is clicking. By no means Sabathia has been untouchable in his career against the Tigers; his career ERA at Comerica Park is close to 5.00. Sanchez can get by with a decent outing, but it would be nice to see him dealing like he was last time out. If he can limit the damage from what will likely be a righty-heavy bottom half of the Yankees lineup, he should be fine.

Prediction

The AL Central has a new leader at the end of the night.

Gameday Reading

Yankees 5, Tigers 6: One Run Short (Again) - Pinstripe Alley, Matt Keegan
"Big mistakes, little mistakes, it doesn't really matter. Cabrera will punish any and all mistakes if given the chance. He's getting to the point where he should almost be off-limits to pitch to. Maybe it isn't exactly the Bonds zone, but it's something similar."

José Miguel Torres Cabrera (Miguel Cabrera): Home Runs And Tigers Wins - Walkoff Woodward, Packey
"Tigers are 36 games above .500 when he, José Miguel Torres Cabrera, deposits uniquely crushed baseballs into the bone sanctuary, on the reg."

Do Yankees Have 9 Hall Of Famers? - Baseball Nation, Rob Neyer
I think placing Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano into this discussion is extremely premature.