The American League Championship Series begins on Saturday night as the Detroit Tigers travel to take on the New York Yankees. The game is scheduled for an 8:00 pm start time and it will be televised nationally on TBS. Currently the odds for the game have the Yankees favored.
The Detroit Tigers are making their second straight appearance in the American League Championship Series. Last year, they fell to the Texas Rangers, who went on to lose to the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. The Tigers have been a team favored all season to potentially win the World Series and now they're just a single series away from being able to play for a world title.
Detroit got a bit of luck earlier this week when C.C. Sabathia had to thrown in Game 5 of the Yankees' ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles. But, in the same category, Justin Verlander won't be able to start in the series opener tonight either. He dominated the Oakland Athletics in the fifth and deciding game last week on the west coast to get Detroit into the ALCS.
Tonight the Tigers will send Doug Fister to the hill while the Yankees will pitch the veteran wonder Andy Pettitte. Detroit sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder struggled in their series against Oakland and Fielder will look to improve on a career .192 post season average. In fact, both Detroit starters will have to play well in this series if the Tigers are able to get to the World Series for the first time since 2006.
Fister (0-0, 2.57) threw well against the Athletics but earned a no decision in Game 2 last week. He has been a blessing for the Tigers, able to eat up innings and command a fastball low in the zone. He'll face a multitude of Yankee left-handers in tonight's game. Currently lefties are hitting .270 against Fister this season. Fister went 1-1 with a 6.52 ERA in two division series games against New York last year.
Pettitte is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA in three postseason starts at the new Yankee Stadium. He hasn't thrown a pitch in a playoff game at home since 2010. He's never faced the Tigers at home and hasn't pitched against Detroit in four years.
Overall, the Yankees won six of the 10 games between the two clubs. Curtis Granderson had a pretty good season against his former team, hitting four home runs and driving in 12 runs in those 10 games. Cabrera and Fielder combined for eight homers and 18 RBIs.
Travel could be a bit of a concern in this one. The Tigers have been off for one more day than the Yankees, so maybe that will come into play. They've gone from Oakland to Detroit to New York in the span of 36 hours. The Yankees will be hosting a fourth straight game in this one with the last three coming against Baltimore in the opening series.
Free Pick: Tigers 5, Yankees 3
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