Check out our breakdown of the AL Championship Series between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees.
Detroit Tigers (88-74) vs. New York Yankees (95-67)
Regular season head-to-head: The Yankees took six of 10 games from the Tigers this season.
Series odds: Yankees -120, Tigers +100 courtesy of sportsbook.ag
Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander allowed a run on seven hits in their ALDS with the A’s, walking five and striking out 22. His ERA is a microscopic 0.56 and he is now 5-3 in 10 postseason starts. The reigning AL MVP also extended his personal streak to just three earned runs in 44 innings over his last six starts heading into the ALCS. But Verlander isn’t the only Detroit pitcher who’s hot. Tigers’ starters went 2-1 with a 1.30 ERA against Oakland batters.
The Yankees have lefty CC Sabathia for just one start unless he goes on short rest, which is likely. The New York bullpen was stellar against the Orioles in the absence of Mariano Rivera. Closer Rafael Soriano didn’t record a save against Baltimore but he didn’t allow a single run in 3 1/3 innings pitched.
The Tigers only scored 11 runs (only six RBIs) in the first four games of their series with the A’s. But their offense thrived against the Yankees this season. The Tigers hit .294 in the 10 regular-season contests. Third baseman and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera was 12-for-39 (.308) with five homers and 11 RBIs, and first baseman Prince Fielder was 12-for-36 (.333) with three homers, while driving in seven runs.
All of the headlines in New York are revolving around the benching of 37-year-old Alex Rodriguez, who was 2 for 16 and failed to drive in a run in the series with the Orioles. He enters the ALCS hitless in 12 at-bats against right-handed pitchers with nine strikeouts. But he isn’t the only hitter struggling in Joe Girardi’s lineup right now. Robinson Cano, (2 for 22) Nick Swisher (2 for 18) and Curtis Granderson (3 for 19) also had a sub-par series.
The Yankees took the Tigers to a deciding fifth game in last year’s ALDS before being eliminated. And the veteran club in New York is always hungry to get back to the World Series.
Veteran manager Jim Leyland has managed the Tigers to the playoffs for the third time — and each time Detroit has squared off against the Yankees. The Tigers beat New York in the division series en route to the 2006 AL pennant, and again last year