Yankees-Tigers MLB Playoffs ALDS: Why Game 1 Rainout May Push Tigers to ALCS

Manny RandhawaCorrespondent IIIOctober 3, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02:  Jose Valverde #46 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates after the final out of Game Two of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 2, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Nobody knew it then, but when rain began to fall hard in the Bronx on Friday night in the second inning of Game 1 of the American League Division Series, one of the two clubs vying for a place in the ALCS got a real push forward.

The Detroit Tigers, facing the Yankees in New York for Game 1 and Game 2 of the series, knew they needed at least a split at Yankee Stadium before heading home to play Game 3 and Game 4.

They got the split. But what's more, they also have their ace, and indeed the ace of aces in MLB, Justin Verlander, slated to pitch in Game 3 at Comerica Park.

Why Game 3 and not Game 5 as originally planned? Because Game 1, in which Verlander was supposed to pitch, and indeed, did pitch for two frames, was washed out.

With each team having won one game apiece thus far, and the series being a best-of-five, momentum has shifted significantly in favor of the Tigers, who are not only coming home for the next two games, but have the good fortune of sending a man with a record of 24-5 to the hill.

Even against the Yankees, your odds of winning are pretty good with a guy like Verlander, who is a serious candidate for AL Cy Young and MVP, making the start.

So what does this mean for the mighty Yanks? They could very well be facing elimination in Detroit come Thursday night.