Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/11/13
The Detroit Tigers survived. Justin Verlander has reclaimed his status as ‘The Man’. Max Scherzer is forevermore a Detroit legend. Miguel Cabrera proved he can still hit a home run. Joaquin Benoit wobbled but shut it down. And Jim Leyland didn’t cry? For the moment, the Tigers have restored faith in their rankled fan base, one that is starving for the city’s first title in 30 years. Bouncing the Oakland A’s was no small feat. People tend to forget that Oakland had the better regular season, arguably the better team, and were picked by most to win the ALDS matchup v. Detroit. Rinse and repeat. The same story is back on for the ALCS as the general consensus seems to be that the Tigers cannot hang with the Red Sox. Game 1 will kick off in Boston at 8:00 eastern on Saturday night. The series will be played in a 2-3-2 format. Read below for everything you need to know about the matchup: Cab-oom! The Vitals Boston had the American League’s best record at 97-65, 5.5 games better than the Rays. They disposed of those same Rays in a 4-game ALDS showdown. Boston wrapped that series up on Tuesday, meaning they’ll have been sitting idle for nearly four days by the time the first ALCS pitch is thrown. Detroit was 93-69 in the regular season, edging the Indians by one game. The Tigers were pushed to the brink against the A’s but fended off two straight elimination games to move on to the ALCS for the 3rd consecutive year. The teams played each other seven times during the regular season and the Tigers won four of those games. Detroit won three of four at Comerica Park back in late June. In early September, the Tigers lost two of three at Fenway. The game the Tigers won in Fenway was made possible by seven shutout innings from Doug Fister. Pitching As Tigers fans just saw, pitching is at a premium in the playoffs. Barring a potential mid-series rotational shake-up the pitching matchups will look like this: Games 1 & 5: Anibal Sanchez v. Jon Lester Games 2 & 6: Max Scherzer v. Clay Buchholz Games 3 & 7: Justin Verlander v. John Lackey Game 4: Doug Fister v. Jake Peavy Not to discredit Boston’s arms, but the Tigers clearly have the better rotation, especially with the recent 4-game resurgence of Justin Verlander (four consecutive shutout appearances covering 27 innings). To be able to throw Sanchez (the AL’s ERA leader), Scherzer (this year’s shoe-in Cy Young winner) and a smoking-hot JV twice each is an extreme luxury for Jim Leyland. Boston has a shutdown closer in Koji Uehara but overall the bullpens are fairly evenly matched. And for those wondering, no, Bruce Rondon is not ready to return for the ALCS. David Ortiz lifts Koji Uehara Offense Boston and Detroit finished #1 and 2 respectively in the big leagues in runs scored. They can both get it done in the batter’s box. The major difference here is that Boston’s speed makes their attack more recession-proof than the Tigers’ lumbering ‘athletes’. Boston was 4th in baseball with 123 steals. The shocker is that they were only caught 19 times. At one point in the season they stole 45 consecutive bases before finally being nabbed. Their 86.6% success rate was the 2nd best such mark in the live ball era. They can run. And the Tigers’ inability to control the opposition’s running game and throw out base stealers has been well-documented. The key for Detroit will be to keep Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and Shane Victorino off the bases. The good news for the Tigers is that the Red Sox struck out the 4th most of any AL team this year, whiffing 1,308 times, or 235 more times than the Tigers, and 130 times more than Oakland, and we all saw how that ended. The 57 K’s amassed by Oakland hitters broke an ALDS record. David Ortiz is the leader and he hit .385 against Tampa, which was only 3rd best on the team as Ellsbury hit an even .500 and Victorino .429. Their offense comes in much hotter than the Tigers. But fans must remember that Detroit has a propensity to get shut out as well as score double-digit runs. The problem in Motown can be represented by these numbers: .158, .133, .100, and .083. These are the ALDS batting averages of Torii Hunter, Alex Avila, Austin Jackson, and Jose Iglesias. Imagine where this team would have been without the return of Jhonny Peralta and his .417 clip, 2nd only to Victor Martinez’s .450 mark. Consider that starting at the bottom of the order, Iglesias, AJax, and Hunter bat in succession. That’s a lot of outs in a row. To compete with Boston’s prolific bats at least two and preferably three of these guys must step up. Prediction I actually thought Boston might fizzle and predicted Tampa to win that series. I couldn’t have been more wrong as the Red Sox were clearly superior. I also predicted the Tigers to beat Oakland in four – close enough. For credibility’s sake I did predict the Cardinals in 5 (nailed it) and the Dodgers in 4 (bam). This series will most likely come down to whether Detroit’s pitching can slow Boston’s bats down just enough to let the Tigers’ offense steal a few games. The law of averages tells me that the Tigers have to start hitting at some point. It might as well be now. In what will be a true classic, I have the Tigers in 7 behind another heroic performance by Verlander in the clincher. To receive an email each time a new Tigers article is published, fill out the Email Notification Form [Follow me on Twitter @isportsJoe]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Nationals' Stephen Strasburg expected to return next week

WATCH: Footage surfaces from Tim Tebow’s baseball workout

Teddy Bridgewater suffers serious knee injury at practice?

EON Sports strikes VR partnerships with Miami, PSU

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mike Tyson accused of stealing ice cream treat at U.S. Open

Calvin Johnson to join DWTS, sister says he ‘can’t dance’

Eagles rookie nixes anthem protest after talking to agent

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

Michael Phelps to be honored with unique Wheaties box

Woman suing Brewers after being struck by foul ball

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

Teddy Bridgewater injury puts Vikings' plans up in the air

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

Vontaze Burfict on Steelers: ‘I don’t give no f—s about them’

Alistair Overeem: Brock Lesnar will never return to UFC

Top five Heisman Trophy candidates for 2016

Five young NFL players set to explode in 2016

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

West-ern Literature: How Kanye's fans find meaning in between the lines

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker