The Texas Rangers have been one of the more formidable teams in the American League this season with a 93-66 record.
A great record doesn’t always mean postseason success, especially when young teams like the Detroit Tigers have something to prove. The Tigers are looking to take advantage of a collapsing Chicago White Sox team and secure a playoff spot this week.
This is a Detroit team, along with the Miami Marlins, who made a splash this offseason. The acquisition of Prince Fielder got Detroit fans buzzing at the chance at, not only a pennant, but an opportunity at a World Series title.
The real story behind this 86-73 Tigers squad has been their apparent lack of success this season. They have underachieved mightily, but the month of September gave them a chance at making up some ground. The Tigers took advantage.
The Texas Rangers are by no means a lock for an American League championship. The talented Detroit Tigers stand in their way.
Here are some reasons the Texas Rangers do not want to face the Detroit Tigers this postseason.
Austin Jackson crossing home in a game against the Royals Sept. 27.
In the Tigers last ten games they have a record of 7-3, compared to the Rangers’ 4-6 record over the same stretch.
It may not seem like much, but what’s stopping this Tigers team from making a playoff run? It has happened before.
Looking back to the 2007 postseason, the Colorado Rockies went 20-8 in the month of September. That young team, led by rookie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, took the franchise to their first ever World Series appearance without losing a single playoff game!
The Tigers’ first round playoff matchup will more than likely be the winner of the American League East. That matches them up with either the New York Yankees or Baltimore Orioles, teams with uncertain and inconsistent starting pitching.
That inconsistent pitching tips the scale in the Tigers favor, who currently have four starters batting above .300. The Yankees and Orioles rotations are going to have a serious problem shutting down players like Cabrera, Fielder and Jackson.
This Tigers team should roll over their first round opponent, thus carrying even more momentum to face their next round opponent.
Cabrera and Fielder celebrating a victory over the White Sox Sept. 2.
This season, Miguel Cabrera will win Major League Baseball’s coveted MVP Award. It will mark the first time in history a pitcher and position player have won awards for the same team in consecutive years.
The Rangers have their slugger in Josh Hamilton, who remains tied with Cabrera for the MLB lead in home runs at 43. Impressive, but the Tigers have another rather large player to tip the scales in their favor: Prince Fielder.
Fielder and Cabrera currently sit in the top 10 in baseball in on-base percentage and RBI. They remain the most dangerous offensive dual-threat baseball has seen in a very long time.
Cabrera has been a playoff asset before. Last year, Cabrera batted .314, with 10 RBI and slugging four home runs in eleven games for the Tigers in the postseason. Outstanding numbers for a player whose last playoff appearance was as a 20-year-old for the Marlins in 2003.
To match, the Rangers have Adrian Beltre who’s putting up the best offensive numbers of his underrated career. But when it comes down to it, the combination of Cabrera and Fielder far outweighs anything the Rangers have in their arsenal.
Verlander dealing against the Royals Sept. 24.
The Detroit starting pitching is a well-oiled machine capable of taking down some of the best lineups in baseball.
Led by American League MVP Justin Verlander, this veteran rotation has a combined ERA of 3.65 this season.
Doug Fister has been brilliant as of late, including his last start where he broke an American League record with nine consecutive strikeouts. His pitching during the month of September has been nasty, posting a 3-1 record and a 2.34 ERA.
Matt Scherzer is one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball this year. His 228 strikeouts are behind only his teammate Justin Verlander and Scherzer’s 2.17 ERA in the month of September is one of the best.
Mid-season acquisition Anibal Sanchez has proved to be an important part of this Tigers rotation. While he struggled with the Miami Marlins, in the month of September for Detroit he’s been phenomenal posting a 2.43 ERA with 37 strikeouts.
This starting rotation is the most dangerous aspect of this Detroit team come playoff time. Texas’ rotation of Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Ryan Dempster and Scott Feldman will not be able to match Detroit’s playoff experience.
Verlander, Scherzer, Porcello and Fister have all started playoff games in the past.
Seasoned Yankee veteran Andy Pettitte pitched horribly in his first eight playoff games going 2-3 with a cumulative 6.14 ERA from ‘95-‘97. 15 years later, his 19 playoff victories are the most all-time.
Texas needs to rely on the playoff experience of Matt Harrison and Derek Holland to have a chance at out-pitching these Tigers.