Texas Rangers vs. Detroit Tigers
The ALCS shifts to Texas for game number six as the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers continue their battle to represent the American League in the World Series. The Rangers are -135 favorites over the Tigers with an over/under run total set at 9.
Texas jumped out to a first inning 1-0 lead against Justin Verlander but couldn’t add to the lead and eventually lost it and the game by a 7-5 count. The Rangers seemed to have a golden opportunity to close this series out and move on to the World Series but ace CJ Wilson just didn’t have it. Wilson gave up six runs on eight hits and two walks in six innings of work. If Wilson gets another chance it would be in the World Series but he simply needs to be better. Texas did a creditable job against Verlander, and had their fair share of opportunities with ten hits and four walks with five extra base hits including a two run homerun off the bat of white hot Nelson Cruz. Mike Napoli, Mike Young and Josh Hamilton each logged a pair of hits with the latter also scoring once and notching two runs batted in. Left hander Derek Holland gets the ball for game five for his third start of the 2011 postseason with one good and one bad outing. Holland defeated Tampa Bay 8-6 allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits in five frames. In his lone start against Detroit he lasted just 2.2 innings while giving up three runs on four hits.
Justin Verlander will probably win the American League Cy Young but none of his wins in 2011 was as important as his win over Texas in game five that staved off elimination. Verlander wasn’t great but was good enough against a potent offense when he gave up four runs on eight hits and three walks in 7.1 frames. Certainly not the best performance we’ve seen from the Tigers ace in 2011 but more than good enough with the Detroit offense rebounding from a quiet game four effort. The Tigers pounded out ten hits with three walks with all but two players posting hits. Ryan Rayburn and Alex Avila smacked homeruns while Delmon Young mashed a pair of long balls in the Detroit power surge. Young finished with two hits with a pair of runs and three runs batted in. The banged up Tigers lineup was balanced with five different players posting RBI’s. Game six will see Max Scherzer on the hill for Jim Leyland looking for his second victory of the postseason. Scherzer didn’t have a great finish in the last few weeks of the regular season but has been solid, going 1-0 in 12 innings pitched while giving up three runs on eight hits with eleven strikeouts.
Scherzer has been a quality arm in the Detroit rotation and I honestly thought that he and Porcello were weak links. Holland has the ability to shutdown anybody but he can be streaky. I’m taking the Rangers minus the 135.
Texas Rangers -135 Detroit Tigers