The Detroit Tigers begin their quest for their first world series championship since 1984 in game 1 of the ALDS on Friday night against the Oakland Athletics. The Tigers are the AL Central division champions for the third straight year. The Oakland Athletics won the American League West for the second consecutive year.
Detroit usually plays the underdog role when they make the playoffs in most sports (except hockey of course). This year the Tigers are the favorite against a tough Oakland team that proved their wild card season of a year ago was no fluke.
It is a classic match-up of David vs Goliath.
Moneyball vs. Long Ball
Big Names vs. No Names
Big Payroll vs Small Payroll
Detroit has literally sold out to win a championship this year. They racked up over 3 million in attendance this season. It is a good thing too because the Tigers also have the 5th highest payroll in baseball at over $150 million. conversely the Athletics have 4th lowest payroll with just over 65 million. Usually its Detroit teams that are over achieving. This season the script is flipped and all the pressure is on the Tigers to advance.
- Starting Pitching: Detroit Tigers
- Bullpen: Oakland Athletics
- Offense: Detroit Tigers
- Defense: Detroit Tigers
Game 1: Max Scherzer 21-3 vs. Batolo Colon 18-6
This is a match-up of Cy Young candidates. Scherzer is the odds on favorite to win the award but Colon definitely deserves consideration. This game should turn out to be a low scoring pitchers duel except for the fact the Max Scherzer and Bartolo Colon enjoy some of the highest run support totals in the league. Scherzer gets 5.59 runs per game (4th best) while Bartolo colon gets 5.43 runs of support (5th).
Game 2: Justin Verlander 13-12 vs Sonny Gray 5-3
Sonny Gray has only started 10 games since coming to the show this season but has been impressive. Gray had a 2.67 ERA in 2013 while holding opposing hitters to a .214 average. Justin Verlander had an off-year but has pitched well his last three starts leading some to believe he is peaking at the right time.
Game 3: Anibal Sanchez 14-8 vs Jarrod Parker 12-8
Anibal sanchez has been one of the Tigers best pitchers in 2013. Thats saying something when other pitchers on the staff are names Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. Sanchez was the American Leagues ERA leader this year 2.57. Parker has won over ten games each of his two seasons as a starter.
Game 4 (if nesseary) : Doug Fister 14-9 vs Dan Stailey 10-8
Fister had a solid season albeit not the season nhe had last season. Straily is another solid starter in rotation filled with promising young arms.
Game 5 (if nessesary): Verlander/Scherzer vs Bartolo Colon 18-6
Jim Leyland hinted earlier this week that he could choice Jusitn Verlander to pitch in a definitive Game 5.