The Tigers start the season in KC and it is no easy task in Monday's opener. Detroit faces reigning Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke. Of course, the Tigs send Justin Verlander, who was third in the Cy Young vote, to the mound. As Royals skipper Trey Hillman said, "I'm sure that the national media will be focused on other games than the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers, but I'm not sure you can come up with any better Opening Day matchup than Greinke versus Verlander. It's going to be exciting."
Greinke was 3-1 with an ERA of 1.00 last year against Detroit. He is 11-5 in his career against the Tigers.
Verlander faced KC three times and limited the Royals to a .597 OPS. He was 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA. Lifetime he is 9-2 with a 2.32 ERA vs. KC.
Here was something I thought was odd: Verlander was 8-3 with a 2.23 ERA in day games last year, compared to 11-6 with a 4.22 ERA in night games. His BABIP in day games was .251 and at night was .366. That's a big difference, so he was a little lucky in daytime and unlucky at night, perhaps? In his career, he is 25-11 with a 3.28 ERA in daylight and 40-32 with a 4.26 ERA under the lights. The BABIP split is .270/.316. Wonder if it has something to do with shadows, even though his strikeout rate is a little lower in the daytime.
Greinke's ERA last year was 3.39 in day games and 1.74 at night. His strikeout and walk rates were virtually identical in each. The example for Greinke is a small sample. Verlander, though, seems to have had this odd split throughout his career.