For previous Yankeeist 2010 previews, please click on the following:
Series Preview: Yankees at Red Sox II [May 7, 2010]
Yankees vs. White Sox in the unbalanced schedule era [April 30, 2010]
Yankees vs. Orioles in the unbalanced schedule era [April 27, 2010]
How the Yankees have fared against the Red Sox at home since 2003 [April 2, 2010]
How the Yankees have fared at Fenway Park since 2003 [April 1, 2010]
The Yanks and Tigers don't have a ton of history this decade outside the debacle known as the 2006 ALDS. As you may recall, the Tigers were God-awful for a good chunk of the aughts, and didn't return to respectability until that fateful year they made the World Series and somehow lost to the Cardinals. I know I've been to a handful of Yankee-Tiger games in the past, although the only one I can recall at the moment is an August 30, 2006 loss in which the Yanks were winning 3-2 in the ninth with two outs, prompting my buddy Seany and I to assume the game was over and get a jump on the subway mob.
Apparently Scott Proctor had other plans as he served up a go-ahead three-run bomb to Craig Monroe, good for a WPA swing of 75% and pushing the Tigers' Win Expectancy from 15% to 90%. This game was also notable for Improv Everywhere's infamous "Rob!" prank (if you click on that link and scroll down the page you'll see the backs of Sean [pink dress shirt] and I [light blue dress shirt], with "Rob" standing in between us).
Anyway, here is how the Yankees have fared against the Tigers since 2001:
As you can see, the Yanks have mostly handled Detroit. The 2002 team administered a thorough beatdown; if this year's team can go 7-1 vs. the Tigers I'd be very impressed.
Here are the team stats through today:
The Tigers are obviously one of the best offensive teams in the league (2nd in wOBA? Boston, natch) and will be tough to keep off the scoreboard. Their pitching seems to tell a slightly different tale, although given that the Yankees are trotting Sergio Mitre and Home Run Javy out in two of their four games in Detroit this week the team has basically squandered any pitching advantage it may have had.
And lastly, there is of course also the added intrigue of facing several former Yankees, including of course the American League leader in batting average, Austin Jackson; the .382 wOBA-ing Johnny Damon; and Phil