ALDS Schedule 2013: Breaking Down Remaining Games of Each Series
Tuesday could feature the clinching game for both American League Division Series, but the trailing squads will not go away too easily.
The Tampa Bay Rays stayed alive in Game 3 with a walk-off home run by Jose Lobaton. Meanwhile, the Detroit Tigers have as much talent as anyone in the majors and are always capable of coming through with a big game.
These clubs will look to stay alive against two teams—the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics, respectively—hoping to avoid a Game 5.
No matter what happens, you can be certain there will be plenty of excitement in the coming days as each team tries the make the most of their opportunity.
Here is a look at what to expect in the remaining games of each series.
Oakland Athletics vs. Detroit Tigers
|4||Tuesday||Oct. 8||5:07 p.m.||Detroit||TBS|
|5*||Thursday||Oct. 10||9:07 p.m.||Oakland||TBS|
In case you did not know before, the Athletics can hit home runs. They ranked third in the majors with 186 long balls while generating power from many different sources.
This was on full display in Game 3 as three different A's took Anibal Sanchez deep in the 6-3 win.
It will be up to Detroit's Doug Fister to do a better job of keeping the ball in the park in Game 4. While he does not have as good of pure stuff as Sanchez, he will at least avoid walks to keep runners off the bases.
This will limit the damage if one of the hitters connects with a big home run.
Still, the bigger question for the Athletics is whether they can trust Dan Straily in this big situation. The young pitcher posted a 3.96 ERA this season, but he also allowed five or more runs in seven of his 27 starts this year.
How will this series end?
A poor showing in Game 4 can wake up the bats for the Tigers and allow them to have a big performance at home in Game 5.
Oakland certainly does not want to go back on the road for the final game of the series. This would require counting on Bartolo Colon to outduel Max Scherzer, which is quite a difficult feat. It is even harder considering Colon allowed 10 hits in six innings in Game 1.
Finally, the Athletics' recent history could come back and haunt them. Since 2000, the team has reached the playoffs six times. In five of those seasons, the squad lost in Game 5 of the ALDS.
History tends to repeat itself, and Oakland could be in serious trouble if they fail to clinch in Game 4.
Prediction: Tigers win in 5
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays
|4||Tuesday||Oct. 8||8:37 p.m.||Tampa Bay||TBS|
|5*||Thursday||Oct. 10||5:37 p.m.||Boston||TBS|
Alex Cobb was the Rays' best pitcher this season, and he was the first starter who could at least quiet the bats for the Red Sox. Of course, he was only able to last five innings while allowing three runs (two earned).
Meanwhile, David Price and Matt Moore were shelled in the first two games, and Jeremy Hellickson could be looking at a similar fate in Game 4. The young pitcher had the second-worst ERA in the American League among qualified players this season.
Jake Peavy has not been great for the Red Sox, but he has at least been serviceable since coming over from the Chicago White Sox.
If he can give Boston a quality start, the highest-scoring offense in baseball should be able to do the rest to win in Game 4.
How will this series end?
Of course, if Tampa Bay is somehow able to escape with a win to send the series back to Boston, the squad would have some serious momentum in their favor after winning two in a row. This could be enough to fuel a road victory to clinch the series.
The Rays have already proven twice in this postseason that they are capable of coming through in a winner-take-all game on the road.
Then again, the Red Sox should still have a lot of confidence in Jon Lester putting together a strong effort when needed. On the other side, Tampa Bay would send Matt Moore to the mound after he allowed seven earned runs in Game 1.
Tampa Bay has the energy to keep things exciting, but Boston simply has too much talent to beat.
Prediction: Red Sox win in 4
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