It’s good to be a Tigers fan. That’s especially true right now, as we knock on the closest wooden surface and cherish the following truths:
- The Tigers own the best winning percentage in the AL at .667, with the A’s mark of .594 the next closest. (And don’t talk to me about playing less games; you can only win the games you play and that’s no one’s fault but the makers of the schedule and Mother Nature.)
- The Tigers have the best Batting Average in the AL at .281, which is 16pts. ahead of the 2nd place Rangers (.265).
- According to FanGraphs, Ian Kinsler has a WAR of 0.6 and Prince Fielder a WAR of – 0.2.
- Robbie Ray is making his first 2014 start before Doug Fister. (While these 2 bullets in no way mean we “WON THE TRADES!”, things could be much worse relatively speaking. And we all wish Dougie well, of course.)
- Detroit has the 2nd best team ERA in the AL at 3.53, behind only Oakland. (Hey, they can have one nice thing… for now.)
While you’re busy thinking of ways to curse my stupid jinxing face, here’s a snippet about tonight’s Tigers starter, Robbie Ray, as well as lineups:
As most of us know and have commented on frequently, Ray came to the Tigers as the focal point of a much bemoaned trade that sent Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals this offseason. He’s a 22 year old, 6′ 2″ lefty who, in January, was ranked the 10th best lefty pitching prospect by MLB.com. In 2013, he struck out 160 batters over 142 innings across A and AA stints. Before the 2014 season began, his fastball was graded a 60 on the 20-80 scale, which put it 2nd only to young Dodgers prospect Julio Urias among that top 10 I mentioned earlier. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus says the fastball sneaks up on hitters and seems faster than it’s low 90′s speed. Ray has K’d 21 and walked only 5 over 29.1 innings in AAA Toledo this season. He’s starting tonight and possibly Sunday, as Anibal Sanchez finishes up his DL stint (he’s eligible to pitch again as of this coming Monday). High hopes abound for this young southpaw and it’ll be exciting to see how his first “cup of coffee” goes down. Here’s hoping its more like Tim Horton’s than Folger’s Crystals (*crosses Smucker’s off future Walkoff Woodward advertisers list*). We’d like the best part of wakin’ up tomorrow to be memories of a Robbie Ray victory in his Motown debut, thank ye very much.
AND LINEUPS… (Don’t freak out, Romine’s not being traded, Worth is just in because of the lefty opponent SP):
SP: Robbie Glenn Ray