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Scherzer In Arlington Has Big Run Potential For Rangers

In 2011, Max Scherzer had  down year, but he was still an above-average pitcher, with terrific position player support. In game two (and six, if it gets there), however, he has the potential of doing serious damage to the Tigers' championship hopes.

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Scherzer is one of the most fly ball-happy pitchers in baseball, allowing close to 40% of his pitches to be hit in the air since the start of his first full season in 2009. His 39.5% rate in 2011 ranked 12th in the American League. Unfortnately for him, not many of those fly balls were pop-ups, and a whole lot of them left the field of play for homeruns. His 12.6% of homeruns on fly balls ranked fourth in the league, ahead even of Colby Lewis.

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All this despite being a right-handed pitcher with a home park that suppresses left-handed homeruns. On the road, his HR/FB rate was an outrageous 19.1%. Tonight, he will be making his start against one of the best teams in baseball at turning fly balls in to home runs, in a park that loves to punish pitchers for leaving the ball up.

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Oh, he also threw 32 pitches, with fastballs averaging in the high-90s, just four days ago in New York. With the rainout, it's less likely that was enough to hurt his arm for tonight, but it certainly doesn't help.

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It's no guarantee for the Rangers to win, but the Tigers starting pitcher tonight looks like a blow up waiting to happen.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.