Texas Rangers vs. Detroit Tigers
Two of the hottest teams entering the postseason collide at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington with the Detroit Tigers taking on the Texas Rangers in the ALCS opener. The Tigers are -115 favorites over the Rangers with an over/under run total set at 7.5.
Detroit doesn’t get much rest after ousting the Yankees in five games as they go from the Bronx on Thursday to Texas on Saturday. The offense is hoping to give the Rangers rotation plenty to worry about with Delmon Young swinging a hot bat with a .316 batting average and three homeruns in the ALDS. Don Kelley hit .364 while Magllio Ordonez connected at a team high .455 clip against the Yankees but the team received minimal contributions from both Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera. Martinez hit .330 in 2011 to lead the American League while hitting 30 long balls and driving in 105 runs but Cabrera was only 3 of 16 in the ALDS. Martinez also had a great regular season, posting a .330 average with 103 runs batted in but he was just a .222 hitter versus New York with a homer and three runs knocked in. Ace Justin Verlander toes the rubber in the series opener after going 24-5 in 2011 with a 2.40 ERA. Texas did defeat the Detroit ace once but Verlander brings in a 6-2 career record against the Rangers with a 2.32 ERA
Texas had an easier time of it in their ALDS against Tampa Bay although things didn’t start off well with the Rays taking game one 9-0. Tampa Bay wouldn’t win again as the Rangers offense proved to be to much to hold down. Texas has a potent offense and is especially tough at home where the club is balanced throughout with bats that can produce in every spot. Mike Napoli and Adrian Beltre led the team with four runs batted in apiece but altogether five different player knocked in at least two runs. Napoli led the team with a .357 batting average against Tampa Bay while Beltre smacked three homeruns in game four. Michael Young led Texas in 2011 with a .338 average and 105 runs batted in which are impressive numbers on a team with nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton. Left hander CJ Wilson gets the ball in game one looking for a much better performance than we saw in the opener of the ALDS in which he was tagged for eight runs (six earned) in five innings. Overall Wilson has gone 16-7 on the year with a 2.94 ERA.
Verlander had some trouble with the Yankees but that shouldn’t come as a shock because New York can hit although Verlander certainly wasn’t hit hard. The bottom line is he is expected to throw up zeros every time out however unrealistic that is. CJ Wilson is much better than he showed in the ALDS opener although not nearly as shutdown as Verlander but than again few are. With both aces rested and ready to go I’m looking at zeros going up here and looking at the under.