Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/12/13
1:55 p.m.: The Red Sox announced their ALCS roster. If it looks familiar, it’s because it’s the exact same as Boston’s ALDS roster. There are no changes to report. 8 a.m. ET: Four wins separate both the Tigers and Red Sox from a World Series berth. Each club enters the ALCS with something to prove. The Tigers were a popular preseason pick in the American League. And why not? They have a rotation anchored by Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, a potent offense that includes the lethal combination of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, and they have an experienced manager who knows a thing or two about calling the shots on the big stage. Oh yeah, and the Tigers are the defending AL champs. The Red Sox were also a popular preseason pick — to finish out of the playoff picture completely. One season removed from a 69-93 campaign, it was hard to imagine Boston coming out of the tough AL East, never mind emerging as a legitimate World Series contender. Yet Boston’s bearded bunch has personified resilience, relentlessness and grit en route to the American League’s best regular-season record, an ALDS victory over the Rays and a spot in the ALCS. The Red Sox enter the ALCS with the benefit of rest and home-field advantage. Boston last played Tuesday in Tampa Bay, while Detroit arrived at Fenway Park on Friday after playing in Oakland on Thursday night. Don’t expect the Tigers to lay down, though. It’s October, and these two teams are more than willing to empty the tank while in search of the ultimate prize. Jon Lester and Anibal Sanchez will square off in Game 1 on Saturday. The action at Fenway Park is set to kick off at 8 p.m. Make sure you’ve got a good seat, and let’s start another thrilling playoff series.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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