The Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers will wrap up the ALCS this weekend, with the winner advancing to the 2013 World Series.
Boston has an opportunity to put the Tigers away at Fenway Park in Saturday's Game 6, but earning a date with the St. Louis Cardinals hinges on several, team-specific keys.
Everything from pitch selection and bat control to lineup construction and player psychology is going to influence the outcome. Even with all those variables, expect a nail-biting finish. Four of the first five installments of this series were decided by a single run.
Probable starting pitchers Max Scherzer and Clay Buchholz combined for a spectacular 33-4 record during the regular season. Neither is accustomed to walking off the mound dissatisfied.
The following factors will determine which one does in this must-watch matchup.
*Stats provided by Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise specified.