The real Justin Verlander has officially shown up in the 3-0 win in Game 5 over the Oakland A’s. Detroit moves on to face the Boston Red Sox, starting on Saturday at 8 with Sanchez against Lester in Fenway Park.
Game 2 is on Sunday with Scherzer against Buchholz at Fenway before the series shifts to Detroit. Verlander vs Lackey on Tuesday in Game 3, while Fister takes on Peavy on Wednesday.
Detroit won the season 4-3 over Boston and hope to continue the success in the ALCS. These teams finished in the top two in runs, batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage, with the Tigers tops in batting average and Boston number one in the other three categories. I think that this series will come down to the starting pitching, where the Tigers have the advantage.
The Red Sox have great pitching themselves in Buchholz and Lester, but the one-two combo of Verlander and Scherzer will be tough for any lineup. Add in the ability of Sanchez and Fister to keep the ball in the park to neutralize guys like Ortiz and Napoli and the advantage has to be to Detroit. Plus the way the rotation is set up, the Tigers would have Scherzer for a potential Game 6 and Verlander in Game 7 if it were to come to that.
I think that Detroit won’t need Justin in that final game, as I’m picking the Tigers in 6 to move on to the World Series. Hopefully we can see the war dance again in Fenway (and Benoit can get with the program, see the middle.)