Wednesday, September 4, 2013
5 stats to know: Tigers at Red Sox
By Will Cohen, ESPN Stats & Info
AP Photo/Elise AmendolaThe Boston Red Sox lead the Detroit Tigers by 1.5 games for the best record in the American League. The two division leaders wrap up their three-game series from Fenway Park tonight on Wednesday Night Baseball (7 ET on ESPN/WatchESPN).
Koji Uehara has retired the last 21 batters he's faced, including 3 straight Tigers last night.
Here are five stats the broadcast crew will be talking about during the game.
1. As mentioned, this game features the two best teams in the AL.
According to Coolstandings.com simulations powered by Fangraphs.com projections, the Red Sox and Tigers have the best chances to win the World Series this season.
2. Both teams have gotten to the top of the league fueled by solid pitching combined with excellent offense. The Tigers and Red Sox rank first and second, respectively, in baseball in BA, OBP, OPS and runs per game.
3. Rick Porcello hasn’t fared well against the Red Sox in his career, going 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP over 14 innings in four starts.
This season, he’s feasted on AL Central opponents (7-2, 3.08 ERA), but he’s only 1-5 with a 7.36 ERA against opponents from the rest of the American League.
One player Porcello does not want to face tonight will be Jacoby Ellsbury, who’s 6-for-7 with a home run in his career against him.
4. Since becoming the Red Sox closer on June 26, Koji Uehara has a 0.28 ERA and 0.37 WHIP. After retiring the Tigers in order last night for his 17th save, Uehara has now retired the last 21 batters he has faced.
5. With the Tampa Bay Rays struggling, Boston has opened a 5.5 game lead in the AL East after finishing last in the division in 2012.
The Red Sox are looking to become just the seventh team since the current divisional format began in 1995 to go from worst-to-first in its division.
One of the keys to the turnaround has been improved health. Last year, only five hitters played in 100 games. This season, eight hitters have already played 100 games and Jonny Gomes has played 99.