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Tigers vs. Yankees Preview: Some notes about Monday’s doubleheader

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Oh yeah, there’s baseball today!

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Rather than do a full preview for Monday’s doubleheader against the Yankees when everyone’s attention will be elsewhere — not to mention possibly getting burned by last-minute changes in the pitching matchups — I figured I would throw together a few notes about the Tigers’ two draft day games against the Bronx Bombers. The traditional preview layout will be below, but let’s get into a few things we’ll be watching for between draft picks.

  • Luis Severino has morphed into a bonafide hellbeast. He has a 2.31 ERA this year, gaudy strikeout and walk rates, and leads the league in wins. He would be an early frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award were it not for Houston’s starting rotation, and is the unquestioned ace of a Yankees staff that has a rather pedestrian 4.11 ERA as a unit. Given the Tigers’ difficulties with right-handed pitching, it’s hard to see them even scratching out a run against a fully rested Severino.
  • I’m not sure what to make of Drew VerHagen’s resurgence in the minor leagues. We’ve seen others seemingly come out of nowhere after spending some time in Toledo — looking at you, Blaine Hardy — but VerHagen has already pitched (and failed) at the big league level this year. He has the raw stuff to be successful, but I don’t know if he has the command and secondary pitches to be a full-time starter in the big leagues. If he gives the Tigers a few solid innings today, that’s a win.
  • Domingo German is a 25-year-old righthander who is getting his first real taste of big league action. He pitched 14 13 innings for the Yankees last season, but all came in relief. He has made four start so far this year, and they haven’t gone well (for the most part). He threw six scoreless innings against the Indians in his first start, but has allowed 16 runs (15 earned) in just 14 13 innings in his last three starts. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and can reach 97-98 mph, but he throws his low-80s curveball most of all (nearly 40 percent of the time in 2018).

New York Yankees (37-17) at Detroit Tigers (28-31)

Time/Place: 1:10 p.m., 7:10 p.m., Comerica Park
SB Nation site: Pinstripe Alley
Media: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB Network (Game 1 only), MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Game 1 Pitching Matchup: RHP Luis Severino (8-1, 2.31 ERA) vs. RHP Drew VerHagen (0-1, 6.30 ERA)

Game 60 Pitching Matchup

Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Severino 78.0 30.3 6.9 2.28 2.8
VerHagen 10.0 26.2 16.7 3.02 0.2

Game 2 Pitching Matchup: RHP Domingo German (0-3, 5.45 ERA) vs. RHP Mike Fiers (4-3, 4.45 ERA)

Game 61 Pitching Matchup

Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
German 34.2 27.5 11.4 4.56 0.2
Fiers 54.2 15.3 4.7 5.13 0.2

Gameday reading