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Friday, April 18, 2014
Trout, Cabrera get to go head-to-head

By Kenton Wong
ESPN Stats & Information

Getty ImagesMike Trout and Miguel Cabrera will face off for the first time this season Friday.
The Los Angeles Angels start a three-game set with the Detroit Tigers on Friday. It will be a great chance to see two-time reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera and two-time runner up Mike Trout go head-to-head.

Plenty has been written about whom should have taken home those last two MVP awards, but I won't attempt to pile on in this post.

What I do want to compare is the two players through the same amount of MLB games played. Trout has now played 351 career games, and while Cabrera definitely hit the ground running when he was brought up as a 20-year-old in 2003, the slight edge so far, through a little over two seasons worth of games, is definitely with the Angels center fielder.

It's tough to do a straight comparison between the two as the players have filled different roles offensively for their teams. But when you factor in that Trout was a little younger when he debuted and has batted primarily in the one or two hole in his career, the comparable power numbers to Cabrera are incredibly impressive.

Add to that Trout's impact on defense and on the basepaths and his recently-signed six-year, $144.5 million contract extension was a no-brainer for the Halos' front office.

Matchup to watch this weekend
Trout will face one of the best power pitchers in the league Saturday in Max Scherzer. In 10 previous plate appearances against Scherzer, Trout has three hits, including a line-drive homer on a slider to the low-inside portion of the strike zone.

Despite the small sample size, Trout's history against the Tigers' righty suggests he should try to take advantage of offspeed pitches. He is 0-6 with five strikeouts in at-bats against Scherzer that have ended in a fastball.