Tuesday night’s Game 5 features the Oakland Athletics playing host to the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers are looking to make it to the ALCS for their third consecutive year, while the A’s are trying to avoid back-to-back losses in the ALDS. The Tigers have too many weapons to shut down, and with Justin Verlander on the mound, Detroit will make it back to the ALCS.
Let’s take a look at the three key players who will lead the Tigers.
3) Victor Martinez, DH
Martinez was the hero in Game 4, hitting the most controversial home run of the postseason. With the Tigers down by one, Martinez came up with a huge hit to tie the game and eventually allowed the Tigers to come away with the win.
In the series, Martinez has hit .375 and has been one of the most productive hitters for the Tigers. Martinez will have another big game tonight going 2-for-4 with at least one RBI. Martinez is one of the leaders in the clubhouse and his veteran leadership is widely respected.
2) Miguel Cabrera, 3B
Cabrera followed up his Triple Crown season of 2012 with an equally impressive 2013. He finished first in BA with .348 and second in home runs and RBI with 44 and 137 respectively. Cabrera is the Tigers' most electrifying player and will prove that tonight.
Although he is only batting .250 in the series, Cabrera is capable of having a 3-for-4 type of game, putting the team on his back. Cabrera was one of just three batters for the Tigers who was able to get a hit off of A's pitcher Sonny Gray in Game 2. Look for the A's to be cautious with Cabrera but, being the great hitter that he is, he will make the proper adjustments and have a huge game leading the Tigers to a date with the Red Sox.
1) Justin Verlander, SP
Verlander was lights out in Game 2 for the Tigers, going seven innings and allowing just four hits and zero runs. Starting Fister in Game 4 with Max Scherzer coming in relief was a no-brainer decision. Verlander won the Cy Young and MVP Awards in 2011, and will return to that form tonight against the A’s.
Verlander has pitched the big game before which gives the Tigers a huge advantage tonight. The postseason is all about pitching, and Verlander will pitch 115 pitches, registering a complete game as the Tigers head back to the ALCS.