MLB Monday [Archive] -

MLB Monday

08-07-2006, 09:22 AM
Minnesota Twins (-138) @ Detroit Tigers - 1 unit
Francisco Liriano skipped a start for precautionary reasons, and until I see a drop in performance, I'm not worried about his arm health. His bullpen sessions were successful and he said himself that he was fine and could have made his last start. Liriano's numbers speak for themselves, since joining the starting rotation he has been the best pitcher in the league. He comes in at 12-2 with a 1.96 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, .192 BAA, and 137/32 K/BB ratio in 115 innings for the year and his ERA has actually been lower as a a starter. In his last start he faced these Tigers and made one mistake to Ordonez in the first which accounted for both runs, but after that he completely shut them down for 8 innings giving up 3 hits while striking out 12. Liriano has shown that he can dominate teams the second time he has faced them, as his stuff is rivaled only by Santana. The Tigers offense did very little against Cleveland starting pitching and pretty much did all their damage against the horrendous Indians bullpen. However the Twins have one of the best bullpens in the league that has gotten even better with the emergence of Pat Neshek who has been almost unhittable.

The Tigers are coming off a sweep of the Indians, but if it wasn't for the Indians bullpen and some defensive lapses by the Tribe, they should have lost at least 2 out of the 3. Zach Miner takes the mound for the Tigers, and though he pitched well against the Twins about a week ago, he doesn't posess tremendous stuff and the second time around will be more difficult for him as the hitters have a good idea of what he brings. Miner's worst starts have come at home, especially his last two, and he has a 6.26 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, and .347 BAA in 5 starts at Comerica. The Twins are coming off a four game sweep in KC against the Royals (who are no slouch at home) and their offense exploded for 41 runs (scored at least 8 runs every game). The entire lineup is hitting well right now and Hunter has been a force at the plate since returning from the DL. Though the Detroit bullpen has been pitching well, they have been eating a lot of innings lately as the starters have gone past the 6th inning just twice in their last seven games.

The Twins should have won the last Liriano/Miner matchup, and I think they should win this one too with Miner being the more vulnerable of the starters.