Mr. Stats Notes: All Rise for Tigers vs Yankees

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On Sunday morning, the big ballyard in the Bronx will play host to a game between the Tigers and Yankees, which can be seen on Peacock at 11:35 am.

Very few franchises can match the Yankees when putting together an All-Time team.  The Tigers actually can. How many teams can have an advantage over the Yanks in center field, where New York can boast both Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle? Well, the Detroit Tigers had Ty Cobb.

Tigers vs Yankees live on Peacock: How to watch, stream, start time, TV channel for MLB Sunday Leadoff game

How many teams can come close to matching the Yankees at first base, with New York having the Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig? Well, the Detroit Tigers had the Bronx-born Hank Greenberg. If Hank hadn’t lost four years of his prime, his numbers would look remarkably like Gehrig’s. As it is, Greenberg’s career OPS of 1.017 is higher than all but a small handful of players. When your OPS is higher than Mike Trout’s, Stan Musial’s, Mickey Mantle’s, and Joe DiMaggio’s, you don’t take a backseat to anyone. Including Gehrig (who tragically lost time at the back end of his career, but not his prime).

Please forgive me, Yankee fans, but I’m not so certain your Captain — Derek Jeter — is any/much better than Detroit’s Alan Trammell.

There, I said it. Look, almost everyone that follows baseball for any length of time would choose Jeter over Trammell.  But it’s closer than you think.

RELATED: 2022 MLB on Peacock schedule: How to watch, live stream Sunday morning baseball games online

Jeter played 20 years in the majors, all for the Yankees.

Trammell played 20 years in the majors, all for the Tigers.

Jeter never won an MVP, although he finished second in 2006 to Justin Morneau.

Trammell never won an MVP, although he finished second in 1987 to George Bell.

For proper context, Jeter should have won MVP in 2006. He had a much better year than Morneau (who had 34 HR, 130 RBI). And Trammell should have won the MVP in 1987. He had a much better year than George Bell (who had 47 HR, 134 RBI).

Jeter was the World Series MVP in 2000.

Trammell was the World Series MVP in 1984.

For proper context, Jeter batted .409/.480/.864 (9-22 AB) in the 2000 World Series.

Trammell batted .450/.500/.800 (9-20 AB) in the 1984 World Series.

Jeter’s bWAR was 71.3

Trammell’s bWAR was 70.7

A deeper look into Baseball Reference’s WAR for the two reveals the difference. Jeter was a better offensive player, Trammell a better defensive player.

If you look at their 7-year peak WAR, Trammell’s was 44.8. Jeter’s 7-year peak WAR was 42.4.

In his 1985 Baseball Abstract, Bill James wrote that Trammell had no weaknesses, and he had great range at shortstop. And he added that if Trammell had played his home games on artificial turf (as was predominant in 1985) he would have much, much better offensive numbers.

Over 20 years, Jeter’s OPS+ was 115, and Trammell’s was 110.  Jete was a better hitter.

All I’ll say is this: Trammell is very under-appreciated. Jeter is very over-appreciated. Why was Trammell so ignored? He never got more than 41% of the vote in 15 election cycles for the Hall of Fame despite similar numbers to players like Barry Larkin and Jeter (Trammell eventually was enshrined by the Veterans Committee).  Trammell wasn’t Cal Ripken, Jr.—a contemporary that used up much of the oxygen spent on American League shortstops in Trammell’s day.

At some positions, the Yankees don’t have anyone to compare with the all-time Tigers great.  Detroit has Charlie Gehringer at second base. And they have Lou Whitaker. Case closed.  Miguel Cabrera was Detroit’s third baseman in his prime seasons about a decade ago.  I don’t recall any Yankee triple-crown winners at third base, do you?

Even if you only wanted to include players from the last half-century, Detroit could roll out Justin Verlander and Jack Morris on the bump; Bill Freehan behind the plate, Miggy Cabrera, Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammell on the infield.  It might not beat a comparable Yankee squad, but they would more than hold their own.

And now, a look at the 2022 Yankees.

Are the Yankees almost a third of the way through a “special” season (like Detroit had in 1984, and the Yankees had in 1998)?

1984 Tigers:  104-58   Started 35- 5.

1998 Yanks:  114-48  Started 46-13

One thing I’ve learned watching baseball for more than a half-century: It’s hard to stop a barreling locomotive train. This 2022 Yankees train picked up speed as soon as soon as they left Detroit on Thursday, April 21.

On Thursday, April 21, the Tigers’ Michael Pineda and four relievers shut out the Yanks 3-0, dropping the Yanks to a record of 7-6.

Since leaving Detroit, the Yankees have a record of 27-9 entering Thursday’s split-doubleheader.

Since leaving Detroit, the Yankees Aaron Judge has turned into Babe Ruth, except maybe better.

Aaron Judge

First 13 games: .255/.340/.404 with 1 HR, 2 RBI

Last 34 games:  .321/.383/.748 with 17 HR, 36 RBI

That’s 17 HR in 131 AB since leaving Detroit, or a HR every 7.7 AB.

RELATED: Young Yankees fan given Judge HR ball meets his hero

Now you ask, what happened late in that last game in Detroit that could have had the Baseball Gods turn their attention on fast-tracking the 2022 Yankees into one of the all-time teams?

Oh yeah, with the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera on the verge of 3,000 hits, Aaron Boone had his reliever Lucas Luetge issue Miggy an intentional walk.

Here was the situation: the Tigers were up 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning but had the bases loaded with nobody out. Boone inserted Luetge in the game. Lucas got Jeimer Canelario to ground into a double play.

That sent Cabrera up to the plate with runners at 2nd and 3rd with two out. Boone had Miggy walked. Austin Meadows then doubled in two runs. The Yankees lost that game, but at least Cabrera didn’t get his 3,000th hit against New York.

And good karma has followed Boone and the Yankees ever since.

If you’re wondering how the Yankees are dominating, it is quite simple. 

The Yankees have hit 69 home runs, second in MLB to the Brewers (70).

The Yankees have allowed only 38 home runs, fewest in MLB.

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There’s a lot going right for the Yankees. We can talk about starting pitcher Nestor Cortest Jr. and his 1.70 ERA. We can talk about reliever Clay Holmes (why does his name bring up images of boxers?). But we have to start with Aaron Judge.

And now, some much needed words on Aaron Judge.

How many times does “99” go into “50”?

Aaron Judge, who wears jersey number 99, hit 52 HR as a 2017 rookie.

Judge, who swatted 18 home runs by the end of May, is almost certain to hit 50 or more this season (he’s on pace for 59). Plus, it’s not so easy anymore for anyone to hit 50. Last year, no one did it. Only Pete Alonso did it in 2019. And no one did it in 2018.

Take a quick guess on this one. How many players have hit 50+ home runs in a season at least twice for the Yankees?

Only two players, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle, had multiple 50+ home run seasons for the Yankees.

The only other players to even have one 50-homer season for the Yanks besides Judge, Ruth, and Mantle were Roger Maris and Alex Rodriguez.

Aaron Judge is slugging .657 entering Thursday’s doubleheader with the Angels.  If he continues to slug that throughout the season, here are the only Yankee players to have a higher slugging percentage in a single season.

Babe Ruth

Lou Gehrig

Mickey Mantle

Joe DiMaggio

The Yankees have had some pretty great seasons — hey, in particular — from right fielders.  Think Reggie Jackson and Dave Winfield. Think the non Hall-of-Famers like Roger Maris and Paul O’Neil. None of them come close to what Judge is producing.

And it’s not just this year.

Aaron Judge is averaging a HR every 12.76 AB for his career.

And Aaron Judge has been even better at home in the Bronx, at Yankee Stadium.

RELATED: Roger Angell and Enduring Words

In his career, Aaron Judge has 1,097 AB at Yankee Stadium, and has hit 94 home runs. That is a HR every 11.6 at-bats.

Is that good?

Well, let’s put it like this. Aaron Judge has 2,668 Plate Appearances in his career. He’ll soon be at 3,000.

Career Leaders, At Bats per Home Run (min. 3,000 Plate Appearances)

  1. Mark McGwire – 10.61
  2. Babe Ruth – 11.76
  3. Barry Bonds – 12.92

Right now, if we played with Minimums, and had the leaderboard for the category with a minimum of 2,600 Plate Appearances, we would have Judge nestled between Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds.

Who are we to Judge (judge)?

A long time ago, the Tigers had a great right fielder who played his whole career in Detroit. Al Kaline was known for the rest of his life as “Mr. Tiger.” If Aaron Judge remains in New York his entire career, he could be known as “Mr. Yankee.”

On Sunday morning, we could “All Rise” to see the Judge on Peacock.

How to Watch Tigers vs Yankees on Peacock

Aaron Judge and the first-place New York Yankees host Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers from Yankee Stadium on MLB Sunday Leadoff live this Sunday, June 5 at 11:30 a.m. ET on Peacock. This week’s MLB Sunday Leadoff coverage begins with the pregame show at 11 a.m. ET on Peacock. NBC Sports’

CC Sabathia, the 2007 Cy Young Award-winner and 19-year MLB veteran, including 11 seasons with the Yankees, will join Ahmed Fareed as an analyst on the MLB Sunday Leadoff pre- and postgame shows. Sabathia, who won the 2009 World Series with the Yankees, was a six-time All-Star, earned 251 career wins, and is one of three left-handed pitchers in Major League history with at least 3,000 strikeouts (Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson). Sabathia currently co-hosts the R2C2 podcast.

How to Watch:

Date Show Time (ET) Platform
Sun., June 5 MLB Sunday Leadoff Pregame 11 a.m. Peacock
Sun., June 5 Tigers vs. Yankees 11:30 a.m. Peacock

Mr. Stats’ Notes: Playoff picture starts to take focus

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This is the time of year that baseball turns from a marathon to a sprint. The Toronto Blue Jays are steps ahead of other teams for a spot in the postseason. Toronto finished one game out of the playoffs a year ago. Will this year be different?

On Sunday, in a game streamed on Peacock beginning at 12 pm eastern, the Blue Jays will play the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 2021, the Jays finished one game behind the Yankees for the Wild Card; and 39 games better than the division rival Orioles. Can Baltimore pass Toronto in the final weeks to nab the third and final Wild Card?

It’s time to sharpen up the predictions to pick out some potential October matchups and storylines.

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Wouldn’t it be something if…the Pittsburgh Pirates win the World Series?

Well, not the 2022 Pirates.  But several former Pirates.

The 2017 Pirates team had Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon in their starting rotation. By 2018, Cole was gone but Clay Holmes was in the Bucs pen.  If the New York Yankees win the 2022 World Series, it will almost certainly be with heavy lifting being done by Cole, Taillon, and Holmes. Jameson (12-4, 3.97) leads the Yankees in wins. Cole is their ace. Holmes should be the closer.

And if the New York Mets win the World Series this year, they will lean heavily on two other Pirates from those Clint Hurdle-managed teams. The Mets don’t hurdle through the National League without Starling Marte and, to a lesser degree, Trevor Williams.  Marte is slashing .309/.359/.511 with 41 extra-base hits in 93 games since May 1, and for the season his bWAR is 3.7. Williams, meanwhile, has not allowed a run in a career-high 24.0 straight innings. Trevor has a 0.88 WHIP, a .190 opponent’s average and a .483 opponent’s OPS during that span.

Pittsburgh fans can find someone to root for even if the San Diego Padres win the World Series (Joe Musgrove), or the Atlanta Braves (Charlie Morton) repeat.

2022 MLB on Peacock schedule: How to watch, live stream Sunday morning baseball games online

Wouldn’t it be something if…the Cardinals beat the Mets in the postseason (with Adam Wainwright getting the final outs)?

In 2006, the Mets won 97 games. The Cardinals won 83 games. But the two teams met in the NLCS, and in Game 7, the Cards had a 3-1 lead entering the bottom of the ninth. Rookie Adam Wainwright closed it out, slamming the door and eliminating the Mets by striking out Carlos Beltran with the bases loaded to end the game.

Wouldn’t it be something if all these years later, the Cardinals once again eliminated the heavily-favored Mets in the deciding game with Wainwright (9-9, 3.09) on the mound!

And if that happened…

Wouldn’t it be something if…the Cardinals beat the Yankees in the World Series (with Jordan Montgomery eliminating his former team)?

Jordan Montgomery was traded from the Yankees to the Cardinals in exchange for Harrison Bader. Montgomery, in his first five starts for St. Louis, is 4-0, with 1.76 ERA and a WHIP of 0.815. How great would it be for Monty, who started the season as the Yankees’ No. 3 starter, eliminates New York.

Of course, October is a long way away. Perhaps Harrison Bader will run down a long blast by Nolan Arenado or Paul Goldschmidt to save a game for the Yankees.

I know what you’re thinking. Even if the Cardinals make the World Series, the Yankees may fall in the ALCS to the Astros. And if that were the case…

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Wouldn’t it be something if…the Cardinals and Astros meet in the World Series, a rematch of the 2004 NLCS (when St. Louis won) and the 2005 NLCS (when Houston won)?

Albert Pujols was the MVP of the 2004 NLCS versus the Houston Astros. Albert batted .500 (14-28 AB) with 1.000 SLG, 1.563 OPS, and 4 HR in the series! Imagine if he has a surge in the very late stages of his career. In the 2005 series, he hit a ninth-inning blast off Brad Lidge that’s a signature highlight in a career full of them.

I know, the Cardinals are a long shot. The Mets have a much better chance of reaching the World Series. So:

Wouldn’t it be something if…Buck Showalter finally makes the World Series in his 21st year as a Major League manager…and loses the Series when the Yankees bring in a reliever named (check notes…) Zack Britton to slam the door on Buck’s Mets?

Well before Timmy Trumpet, Showalter once had an elite reliever in his stint with the Orioles, Zack Britton. In 2016, Britton saved 47 games in 47 save opportunities. The Orioles won 89 games in 2016, and played in the one-game Wild Card in Toronto. The elimination game was tied 2-2 after five innings. And six innings. And seven innings. And eight innings. And nine innings. And ten innings. Buck kept waiting for his Birds to score a run, to bring in the great Britton to close out the Jays. Trouble is, he never did get Zack into the game, and eventually Ubaldo Jimenez lost the game for Buck in the 11th.

Just a thought. If there’s an opportunity to get Edwin Diaz late in a tie game on the road, do it. If you go down, go down with your best.

RELATED: Rogers: Mets are ‘built for postseason’

Wouldn’t it be something if Buck Showalter finally makes it to the World Series against the Astros and Dusty Baker? One of them has to win, right? Please tell me someone has to win.

Is it even remotely possible that Dusty’s team blows another series lead? Baker shouldn’t have lost the 2002 World Series to the Angels, or the 2021 World Series to the Braves. He shouldn’t have blown a 2-0 series lead to the Giants in a 2012 best-of-five series. He shouldn’t have blown a three-run lead with five outs to go in Game 7 of a 2003 series to the Marlins. And only Dusty — poor Dusty — can have a lead after four innings of a winner-take-all game, bring in Max Scherzer — and still lose the game and series, as Dusty’s Nats did against the Cubs in 2017.

Wouldn’t it be something if the 2022 World Series were a rematch of the 2017 World Series? Only this time, Clayton Kershaw pitches on a level playing field, if you know what I mean. Man, it would be great to see Clayton start a game in Houston.

Remember what happened when Kershaw started Game 5 of the ’17 series in Houston? Clayton was unhittable in Game 1 of that series at Dodger Stadium; but in Game 5, Kershaw blew a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning, and a 7-4 lead in the bottom of the fifth.

I know Kershaw found redemption in the 2020 World Series in Arlington, Texas against Tampa Bay. But I want more. I want Clayton to shut down Altuve, Bregman, and Gurriel in Houston. In a World Series. Wouldn’t that be something?

And if the Astros defeated the Dodgers, I would feel so glad for Dusty Baker, who would have a World Series championship as a player for the Dodgers (in 1981) and as a manager against the Dodgers (41 years later, in 2022).

RELATED: Astros ace Justin Verlander placed on IL with calf injury

Wouldn’t it be something if someone other than the Astros or Yankees made the World Series?  Wouldn’t it be something if the Mariners defeated the Yankees?

Time for a little history lesson. In 2001, the Mariners had a historic regular season, winning 116 games. But they lost the ALCS to the Yankees in five games. In Game 5 at Yankee Stadium, with the Yankees blowing out Seattle 9-0 and eventually eliminating them 12-3, the Bronx crowd chanted “Over-rated” at the Mariners.

Classy, I know. But wouldn’t it be something if the tides were reversed a generation later, and the heavily-favored Yankees fell in Seattle, with the Pacific Northwest crowd serenading the Yankees with the “over-rated” chant?

Wouldn’t it be something if…Rays manager Kevin Cash refuses to take out a starting pitcher that is on his game?

Wouldn’t it be something if…Bryce Harper finally was part of a winning playoff series? Harper appeared been in four Division Series as a member of the Nationals, and lost all four. 

Wouldn’t it be something if…Francisco Lindor makes the World Series against his former Cleveland team and manager Terry Francona?

As the rock group Green Day sang, “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”

MLB schedule 2022: Every Sunday morning baseball game on Peacock, matchups, what to know

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Sunday baseball is officially coming to Peacock this May! 18 MLB games will be featured on the streaming service starting with the Chicago White Sox vs. Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Sunday, May 8 at 11:30 p.m. ET. See below for the full Sunday baseball on Peacock schedule.

Sunday Baseball on Peacock schedule

Date Time Matchup
May 8 11:30 a.m. ET Chicago White Sox at Boston Red Sox
May 15 11:30 a.m. ET San Diego Padres at Atlanta Braves
May 22 11:30 a.m. ET St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates
May 29 11:30 a.m. ET San Francisco Giants at Cincinnati Reds
June 5 11:30 a.m. ET Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees
June 12 11:30 a.m. ET Oakland Athletics at Cleveland Guardians
June 19 Noon ET Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals
June 26 Noon ET New York Mets at Miami Marlins
July 3 Noon ET Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers
July 10 Noon ET Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles
July 17 Noon ET Kansas City Royals at Toronto Blue Jays
July 24 Noon ET Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies
July 31 Noon ET Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays
August 7 Noon ET Houston Astros at Cleveland Guardians
August 14 Noon ET San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals
August 21 Noon ET Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Guardians
August 28 Noon ET Los Angeles Dodgers at Miami Marlins
September 4 Noon ET Toronto Blue Jays at Pittsburgh Pirates

How to watch the MLB on Peacock                              

Baseball is back and for the first time ever MLB games are coming to Peacock this May, featuring a total of 18 Sunday match ups. Click here to sign up for Peacock and watch MLB games live on Sunday mornings!

The first MLB game on Peacock will take place on Sunday, May 8 at 11:30 a.m. ET as the Chicago White Sox battle it out with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The game will also be available on the NBC broadcast network.

In addition to MLB games, Peacock will also feature a new MLB hub which will include access to highlight packages and award-winning documentaries from the MLB Film & Video Archive.

Opening Day for the 2022 MLB season takes place on Thursday, April 7 and the league will stick to its original slate of 162 games despite a 99-day-lockout. For more on the 2022 MLB season click here.

See below for additional information on how to watch MLB on Peacock.

How can I watch baseball on Peacock and what devices are compatible?

Peacock is currently available on the Roku platform; Amazon FireTV and Fire tablets; Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; Google platforms and devices including Android™, Android TV™ devices, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices;  Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X; Sony PlayStation4 and PlayStation 4 Pro; Samsung Smart TVs; VIZIO SmartCast™ TVs; LG Smart TVs; Comcast’s entertainment platforms including Xfinity X1, Xfinity Flex, and XClass TV; and Cox’s Contour and Contour Stream Player devices. To learn more about Peacock and how to sign up, visit PeacockTV.com.