Whew! It took a couple more games than originally thought, and an MVP-like performance from the their ace, but the Detroit Tigers are back in the American League Championship Series. After taking the first two games at Comerica Park, the Tigers found themselves in a sea of yellow and green at the Coliseum in Oakland. The Athletics fed off their home crowd in Games 3 and 4. However, Justin Verlander showed why he’s the reigning MVP & Cy Young Award winners. Detroit was able to dismiss the pesky A’s in 5, despite playing the decisive game on the west coast. The Tigers will turn their concentration to the evil empire of the New York Yankees, who defeated the Baltimore Orioles in 5 games in their ALDS series. Here is your 2012 American League Championship Series preview:
How They Got Here:
Detroit: The Detroit Tigers are back in the American League Championship series for the 2nd year in a row. They fell last season to the Texas Rangers in 6 games. The Tigers are the American League Central Division champions. They eliminated the Oakland Athletics in 5 games to advance to the 2012 ALCS.
New York: The Yankees are no stranger to postseason success. They got their playoff bid by winning the American League East Division in 2012. Facing the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS, they were able to expel the pesky O’s in 5 games.
The regular season series between Detroit and New York was very close, with the Yankees winning 6 of the 10 match ups. The Tigers went to NYC at the end of April and lost 2 of 3 games. Detroit welcomed the Yanks to Comerica Park during the first week of June, and once again dropped 2 of 3. The two teams met for the final time this season in August, splitting a 4 game series in Motown.
The Tigers Will Win If…:
They continue to hit. We saw in the Oakland series what the consequences can be of not getting timely hitting. Prince Fielder will need to be huge in this series, especially since the Yankees have home field advantage. Left handed bats thrive in Yankee Stadium and Fielder could be the difference for the Tigers. Detroit also needs to score often in order to give the shaky bullpen (and closer Jose Valverde) a bit more confidence working with a big lead.
The Yankees Will Win If…:
The Yankees are the Yankees. Let’s face it, New York has been here and done that. It’s expected by their owners and fan base that the Yankees will be playing in mid-October. With household names like Jeter, Teixeria, Cano, Rodriguez, Ichiro, Pettite, Sabathia, and Granderson, the Yankees are stocked with firepower. If each player plays like they are capable of, Detroit could be in big trouble. They key for the Bronx Bombers will be pitching. Other than Sabathia (who won’t pitch until Game 3 or 4), and Andy Pettite they really don’t have many reliable arms in their arsenal.
Game 1: Sat. Oct 13 at 8pm — DET @ NYY
Game 2: Sun Oct 14 at 4pm — DET @ NYY
Game 3: Tue Oct 16 at 8pm — NYY @ DET
Game 4: Wed Oct 17 at 8pm — NYY @ DET
*Game 5: Thu Oct 18 at 8pm — NYY @ DET
*Game 6: Sat Oct 20 at 8pm — DET @ NYY
*Game 7: Sun Oct 21 at 8pm — DET @ NYY)
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It’s great to be back in the ALCS!!…LET’S GO TIGERS!!!