Ramon Santiago Earns Way Into Detroit Tigers ALDS Game 3 Starting Lineup

Ramon Santiago wasn't included in Jim Leyland's Game 1 starting lineup, when the Tigers were preparing to face CC Sabathia. But now for Game 3, Santiago isn't just starting - he's batting second. The full order:

Austin Jackson, CF
Ramon Santiago, 2B
Delmon Young, LF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Victor Martinez, DH
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Alex Avila, C
Brandon Inge, 3B

Santiago is starting ahead of Ryan Raburn, and he's starting because he's 7-for-24 against Sabathia in his career, while Raburn is 4-for-24. Of course, Santiago is 7-for-24 with zero walks and one extra-base hit (a double), and of course this matchup data has been shown to be of negligible value in the past, but there's your explanation, and anything can happen over a one-game sample.

As for the rest of the lineup, Avila drops to eighth because he's a left-handed hitter against a dominant left-handed starter. Righty Inge is in for the switch-hitting Wilson Betemit. Sabathia will face eight guys hitting from the right side, and even though Sabathia is still quite good against righties, he's worse than he is against lefties, so the Tigers just might score a few times. And that just might be enough for Justin Verlander.

Or it might not! Watch the game, and let's find out together!

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