The ending couldn’t have been better scripted.
Down to the final out of their season, the New York Yankees needed Alex Rodriguez to come through in a big way.
One big strikeout later and it’s the Detroit Tigers going to the American League Championship Series. Tigers win 3-2.
Now it’s on to the ALCS for the Detroit Tigers, where they meet the defending AL champion Texas Rangers.
Here’s everything you need to know about this juicy matchup:
Game 1: Justin Verlander (24-5, 2.40 ERA) vs. C.J Wilson (16-7, 2.94 ERA)
When: Saturday at 8:05 PM EST on FOX
Right now this is the only pitching matchup set in stone, and it’s going to be a dandy.
Verlander hasn’t been lights out thus far in the postseason, but he has one of the three postseason wins and goes into Saturday’s matchup on full rest. Wilson will be looking to rebound after getting roughed up by the Rays for six runs in the Game One loss.
With Wilson set to hit free agency after the season, this game will go a long way in determining how much money the 31-year old will rake in. He will have to find the strike zone early and often to ensure the score stays manageable.
Wilson went 6.2 innings and allowed four runs in his only start against the Tigers back on April 12th.
He faces a Tigers lineup that ranked third in the regular season in batting (.277), and fourth in runs (787), on base (.340) and slugging (.434).
Delmon Young left Thursday’s game with a strained side but other than that this lineup is healthy and ready to roll.
If Verlander gets a three or four run lead, it’s going to be over in a hurry.
Yet the Rangers are one of only five teams to hand the potential Cy Young and MVP a loss. Way back on April 11th, Verlander lost a 2-0 complete game pitchers duel to Alexi Ogando. That’s the only time the Rangers have faced the Tigers ace this season.
So maybe the Rangers offense, which ranked first in batting average (.283), second in slugging percentage (.460), third in runs scored (855) and fifth in on base (.340) will be the big difference.
It’s all you can ask for at this point…the best pitcher in baseball this season against the top offense.
The pitching matchups for the rest of the series haven’t been announced yet, but here are the days and start times:
|Game 1||Detroit Tigers at Texas Rangers||8:05 ET||Fox|
|Game 2 ||Detroit Tigers at Texas Rangers||7:45 ET||Fox|
|Game 3 ||Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers||8:05 ET||Fox|
|Game 4 ||Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers||4:19 ET||Fox|
|Game 5 ||Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers||4:19 ET||Fox|
|Game 6 ||Detroit Tigers at Texas Rangers||8:05 ET||Fox|
|Game 7 ||Detroit Tigers at Texas Rangers||8:05 ET||Fox|
This is going to be a wild series that will give us an 11-10 score one night followed by a 2-1 the next game. This series is completely up-in-the-air at this point and the winner will come down to whose stars shine the brightest.
With more postseason experience, the home field advantage and a more balanced offense—the Rangers are the slight favorites to win.
Then again, that’s what everybody said in the Yankees-Tigers series.