The Rangers may have been the first team to solidify a spot in the league championship series but don't let the offensive clinic put on by Adrian Beltre in the final game of the series fool you. Texas is struggling a little more than they lead on.
During the regular season, the Rangers ranked among the top three in league batting average, runs scored and home runs.
In October, the .283 team batting average that lifted them to the top of the standings in the American League has shrunk to a worrisome .211.
What caused the 72-point drop?
While there are four players who got at least 10 at-bats in the series that are represented by batting averages below .150, the postseason plummet is due to team-wide shortcomings at the plate.
Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton, who hit .296 and .298 in the regular season, respectively, have been markedly less patient at the plate in the postseason. Their averages that were once on the cusp of .300 now sit together at .267.
The power production from Texas' two reliable sluggers has diminished as well. Aside from the three home runs Adrian Beltre tallied in the last game of the series, the duo haven't taken a ball out of the park in the postseason.
This being said, it isn't all dark and gloomy in Arlington.
Ian Kinsler, while still seemingly unable to boost his batting average to a respectable number greater than .260, has been a godsend for the Rangers all season.
Kinsler's career has been filled with trips to and from the disabled list. A healthy 2011 season proved just how much talent had been wasting away on the bench in each of those trips. Batting from the leadoff spot, Kinsler led the team in home runs with 32 and finished behind only Michael Young with 34 doubles on the year.
In four games in October, Kinsler has compiled four hits, three RBI and a home run, while maintaining a batting average only five points less than his .255 season average (you gotta give him points for consistency).
Perhaps the most valuable player in a Rangers uniform in the postseason thus far, though, is the hot hitting catcher Mike Napoli. In 15 at-bats in the ALDS, Napoli hit .357, while slugging .571 with a home run and four RBI.
The ALCS will not be as quick and easy as the Rangers made the ALDS seem, though.
Texas will look to receive some production from key players whose bats were absent in the opening series.
Elvis Andrus, Michael Young and Nelson Cruz will need to bring their batting averages up if they want to manufacture runs against tough Detroit pitching; as it stands, they are hitting .143, .133 and .067, respectively.
Verlander and Co. will surely carve up the Rangers lineup if these key regular season players don't start putting the ball in play.
Detroit comes into the ALCS with a lot of momentum on both sides of the ball.
After a tight five-game series that left the Yankees packing their suitcases, the Tigers will look to bring the same strategy to the ALCS that led them past the Bombers: hit, hit, hit.
Magglio Ordonez, Ryan Raburn and Brandon Inge have led the way for the Tigers this postseason, and are all hitting above .400, while Don Kelly and Delmon Young are hitting at a .300-plus clip.
Detroit received a great deal of production from the guys you least expected it from, which will be the key for them to advance to the World Series.
With the five of them putting the ball in play like they have been, many didn't notice the shortcomings of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.
Cabrera, the AL batting champion, is hitting a flat .200 in October, only 22 points below Martinez. If both bounce back to regular season form in the ALCS like expected, run production will certainly skyrocket for the Tigers.
Even though the two Tiger stars are underachieving with regards to batting average, their power dynamic hasn't gone anywhere. The two have combined for six RBI and two home runs in 33 at-bats in October, a number sure to improve with the deflated batting averages.
The biggest question marks in the Tigers lineup heading into the ALCS are over the heads of Alex Avila and Austin Jackson. These two were staples in the Tigers lineup throughout the regular season and they will need to start performing at the level Detroit was accustomed to soon or the Tigers will find themselves chasing a series lead rather than holding it.
The duo is hitting extremely poorly (.063 and .125, respectively), and while it's nice to see the little guys putting up big numbers, Texas has already shown what they think of Cinderella stories.
With the break before the start of the ALCS, expect Jackson and Avila to straighten out the kinks in their offense. If they can hit above .260 the rest of the way, they'll be more than the questionable Texas rotation can handle.
Advantage: Detroit Tigers