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ALDS, Tigers vs. A's: How they match up

A look at the American League division series between Detroit and Oakland.

October 06, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Athletics right-hander Jarrod Parker warms up during batting practice on Friday at Comerica Park before the Tigers play host to the Athletics in the ALDS opener Saturday.
Athletics right-hander Jarrod Parker warms up during batting practice… (Kirthmon F. Dozier / McClatchy-Tribune )

Game 1: Saturday, 3 p.m., TBS

Oakland (RHP Jarrod Parker 13-8, 3.47) at Detroit (RHP Justin Verlander 17-8, 2.64)

Game 2: Sunday, 9 a.m., MLB Network

Oakland (LHP Tommy Milone (13-10, 3.74)) at Detroit (RHP Doug Fister 10-10, 3.45)

Game 3: Tuesday, 6 p.m., TBS

Detroit (RHP Anibal Sanchez 4-6, 3.74) at Oakland (RHP Brett Anderson 4-2, 2.57)

Game 4: Wednesday, TBA *

Detroit (RHP Max Scherzer 16-7, 3.74) at Oakland (RHP A.J. Griffin (7-1, 3.06)

Game 5: Thursday, TBA*

Detroit (RHP Justin Verlander 17-8, 2.64) at Oakland (RHP Jarrod Parker 13-8, 3.47)

*if necessary/all times PDT

Projected lineup

Pos, Oakland, Avg., HR, RBIs

CF;Coco Crisp;.259;11;46

SS;Stephen Drew;.250;5;16

LF;Yoenis Cespedes;.292;23;82

1B;Brandon Moss;.291;21;52

RF;Josh Reddick;.242;32;85

3B;Josh Donaldson;.241;9;33

DH;Seth Smith;.240;14;52

C;George Kottaras;.212;6;19

2B;Cliff Pennington;.215;6;28

Projected lineup

Pos, Detroit, Avg., HR, RBIs

CF;Austin Jackson;.300;16;66

LF;Quintin Berry;.258;2;29

3B;Miguel Cabrera;.330;44;139

1B;Prince Fielder;.313;30;108

DH;Delmon Young;.267;18;74

RF;Andy Dirks;.322;8;33

SS;Jhonny Peralta;.239;13;63

C;Alex Avila;.243;9;48

2B;Omar Infante;.257;4;20

Keys to the series

The Tigers' veteran rotation and middle-of-the-order punch should give them an edge, but how can you discount the Athletics, who, despite having four rookies in their rotation down the stretch, overcame a 13-game deficit and swept Texas in the final three games to win the AL West? The A's thrive in the clutch -- they led the major leagues with 14 walk-off wins -- but a lineup that led the AL with 1,387 strikeouts must make more contact against a Detroit staff that ranked second in the AL with 1,318 strikeouts. Keeping the top of the Tigers' order off base will be a key for the A's; that will allow them to pitch more carefully to the Triple Crown-winning Cabrera and the dangerous Fielder. The Tigers must avoid mistake pitches; the A's have more homers (195) than Detroit and spread their power throughout the lineup. Detroit (Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit) and Oakland (Grant Balfour, Ryan Cook) are strong at the back of the bullpen, but the A's may have more depth and versatility in middle relief.

Pick: Tigers in five.

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