If one series enriched in baseball history was not enough, the teams that have appeared in seven of the last ten ALCS will square off. The Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers both earned their record through the regular and postseason with pitching and scoring runs. Sure that is how games are decided, but it also makes for a very even matchup to determine who will make it to the World Series.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox this season have decided to go back to playing the type of ball that broke their World Series curse in 2004. Rather it was the adoption of excessive facial hair or manager John Farrell’s approach, the Sox have returned to AL East dominance clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They were 53-28 at Fenway Park this season, and so far 2-0 in the postseason. Although Detroit won the season series 4-3, the Red Sox blasted them 20-4 on September 4th.
Many people thought the power lineup for the Tigers that included the best hitter in the game, Miguel Cabrera, had become less of a threat in the postseason due to his health in September. All those feelings were quickly dispelled when he smacked a homer on Sonny Gray of the Oakland A’s on Thursday night. The Tigers strength in this series will have to be their starting rotation: Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, and others. Verlander, as we saw in the ALDS, is still their ace in the postseason. Their rotation is predominantly right-handed and the Red Sox bat right-handed.
Keys To Winning
For the Red Sox, they will have to hold their home field advantage and win the first two games. John Lester (16-8, 3.71 ERA) and Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.89 ERA) will take the mound for Game 1 and Game 2.
During the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays, Shane Victorino and Jacoby Ellsbury combined for five stolen bases, five RBI, and went 15 for 32 with nine runs scored. That was just at the top of the lineup. If they can get that type of production, plus their consistent scoring in late innings, they can make it back to the World Series.
For the Tigers it is almost the same situation. They have to rely on their stellar starting rotation to pitch perfect. That means they have to pitch deep into the later innings. Their best chance to steal a road win will be with Scherzer in Game 2.
The Tigers’ lineup will need to hit some home runs. As obvious as that may seem, the have not been so easy to come by lately. They lost Game 1 and Game 3 in the last series, both games they did not hit any home runs. They struggled at the end of the regular season also, but Cabrera could spark the power back on.
Game 1: 10/12 – Tigers @ Red Sox 7:00 PM
Game 2: 10/13 – Tigers @ Red Sox 7:00 PM
Game 3: 10/15 – Red Sox @ Tigers 3:00 PM
Game 4: 10/16 – Red Sox @ Tigers 7:00 PM
Game 5*: 10/17 – Red Sox @ Tigers 7:00 PM
Game 6*: 10/19 – Tigers @ Red Sox 3:30 PM
Game 7*: 10/20 – Tigers @ Red Sox 7:00 PM
(All games on Fox)