Skip to content

ALCS Preview: Tigers vs. Yankees

Oct 13, 2012, 12:27 PM EDT

Miguel Cabrera Getty Getty Images

You can’t predict baseball, but you can at least lay out the parameters. So let’s take a look at what the Tigers and Yankees have in store for us in the American League Championship Series.

The Teams

Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees

The Matchups

Game 1 Saturday in New York: Doug Fister vs. Andy Pettitte
Game 2 Sunday in New York: Anibal Sanchez vs. Hiroki Kuroda
Game 3 Tuesday in Detroit: Phil Hughes vs. Justin Verlander
Game 4 Wednesday in Detroit: CC Sabathia vs. Max Scherzer
Game 5 (if necessary) Thursday in Detroit
Game 6 (if necessary) next Saturday in New York
Game 7 (if necessary) next Sunday in New York

Analysis: The Tigers already have their rotation mapped out for the entire series, but there’s still quite a bit of uncertainty for the Yankees. Will Hiroki Kuroda go on short rest in Game 2 or will we see David Phelps? If it’s Phelps, you have to like the Tigers’ chances of leaving New York with at least one win.

Saturday update: Kuroda was named the starter for Game 2, Hughes for Game 3 and Sabathia for Game 4.

Because he was needed in Game 5 of the ALDS yesterday, CC Sabathia would have to go on short rest in Game 3 in order to match up against Justin Verlander. This would set them up to duel again in a potential Game 7. That would be pretty fun. It’s interesting that the Tigers are prepared to give two starts to Anibal Sanchez in the series as opposed to one for Max Scherzer. Sanchez has been solid for nearly two months now, so that’s no slight on him, but perhaps Jim Leyland decided to give Scherzer’s shoulder some extra recovery time.

The Storylines

  • The Yankees took the season series 6-4 while outscoring the Tigers 58-48.
  • The Yankees won’t have C.C. Sabathia in Game 1, but Andy Pettitte is a pretty good alternative. After all, the 40-year-old left-hander has started more postseason games than anyone. He allowed three runs over seven innings in a loss to the Orioles in Game 2 of the ALDS on Monday.
  • What will almost certainly command the most attention is the continuing saga of Alex Rodriguez. How much will he play? Joe Girardi opted to use Eric Chavez against Jason Hammel yesterday because of his numbers against right-handed pitching. Meanwhile, the Tigers’ projected rotation is full of right-handed starters. My guess is that A-Rod will start Game 1 tonight, but he could continue to sit in certain matchups.
  • Justin Verlander had a 5.57 ERA in eight career postseason starts before dominating the Athletics to the tune of a 0.56 ERA and 22 strikeouts over 16 innings during the ALDS. Is this finally his time to shine on the big stage?
  • If the Yankees get two starts out of CC Sabathia during this series, one of them will have to be on short rest. They can either use him on regular rest in Game 4, setting him up for a start on three days’ rest in a potential Game 7 or have him go on short rest in Game 3 and regular rest in a potential Game 7.
  • Will the Yankees offense show up? They managed to outlast the Orioles in the ALDS despite hitting just .211 as a team while scoring 16 runs in five games. Derek Jeter had more hits (eight) than Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano combined (six). It’s unrealistic to think that everyone will get hot at the same time, but this lineup is too talented to be this bad. Right?
  • Likewise, the Tigers held off the surprising Athletics in the ALDS without a ton of help from their big bats. Austin Jackson was 5-for-20 (.250) with seven strikeouts while Miguel Cabrera went 5-for-20 (.250) with two doubles and an RBI and Prince Fielder went 4-for-21 (.190) with one home run and two RBI. Their lineup isn’t nearly as deep or scary as the Yankees, so they need contributions from this important trio in order to advance.
  • Jose Valverde and Joaquin Benoit combined to give up five runs over 4 2/3 innings against the Athletics. Meanwhile, the Yankees bullpen held the Orioles to just one run over 11 1/3 innings for the entire series. The Tigers’ bullpen was a concern even before the ALDS, so you have to give the Yankees the edge in the late innings.

Prediction

You have to like that the Yankees have the home-field advantage, especially considering the Tigers were not a very good road team during the regular season, but I’m just not a fan of how New York’s rotation lines up for this series. Meanwhile, the Tigers will be well-rested. They are also the younger team and seemingly healthier, too. Jose Valverde might make this pick look silly if he proves to be an adventure in the late innings, but I think they will take it.

TIGERS WIN THE SERIES 4-3

Latest Posts
  1. Justin Verlander resumes throwing, but disabled list stint remains possible

    Apr 1, 2015, 1:40 PM EDT

    justin verlander getty Getty Images

    Verlander has never been on the disabled list in his 10-year career.

  2. 2015 Preview: Philadelphia Phillies

    Apr 1, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Cole Hamels Getty Images

    The Phillies are going to be bad in 2015. But just how bad?

  3. Phillies waived $12 million Cuban pitcher Miguel Gonzalez, but no team wanted him

    Apr 1, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

    Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez Getty Images

    Philadelphia’s pitching staff isn’t exactly stacked, but Gonzalez blew his chance to make the team by allowing 12 runs in 14 spring training innings.

  4. The Mets and Juan Lagares are close to a four-year extension

    Apr 1, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT

    Juan Lagares Getty Getty Images

    The Mets are locking up one of the best defensive center fielders in the game.

  5. Astros demote first baseman Jon Singleton to Triple-A

    Apr 1, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT

    Jonathan Singleton Getty Getty Images

    If he crushes Triple-A pitching he’ll be back soon enough.

  6. Marlins reliever Aaron Crow needs Tommy John surgery

    Apr 1, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    Aaron Crow AP

    Miami gave up left-hander Brian Flynn and minor leaguer Reid Redman to get Crow from Kansas City.

  7. HBT Extra: Anyone but the Twins could win the AL Central

    Apr 1, 2015, 9:46 AM EDT

    Corey Kluber Corey Kluber

    Jenna and I talk about whether the Tigers can do it again.

  8. Wrigley Field will still be a work in progress, but it will be ready for Opening Day

    Apr 1, 2015, 9:05 AM EDT

    Wrigley construction Getty Images

    So don’t listen to the rumors about how it’s not fit for man nor beast nor Cubs fan.

  9. HBT Extra: Talkin’ about the NL Central

    Apr 1, 2015, 8:37 AM EDT

    Mike Matheny Getty Images

    The Cardinals and Pirates are the class here, even if the Cubs get all the chatter these days.

  10. Coco Crisp likely to open season on 15-day disabled list

    Mar 31, 2015, 11:58 PM EDT

    coco crisp getty Getty Images

    A’s left fielder Coco Crisp has been bothered by discomfort in the middle of his right arm for much of spring training, limiting him to seven Cactus League games. And the injury isn’t getting any better.

  11. 2015 Preview: Cincinnati Reds

    Mar 31, 2015, 11:02 PM EDT

    votto getty Getty Images

    Is the fun over in Cincy?

  12. Rays get Erasmo Ramirez from M’s for Mike Montgomery

    Mar 31, 2015, 10:26 PM EDT

    erasmo ramirez getty Getty Images

    As first reported by beat writer Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays have acquired right-handed starter Erasmo Ramirez from the Mariners in exchange for left-hander Mike Montgomery.

  13. Luke Gregerson officially named Astros’ closer

    Mar 31, 2015, 9:40 PM EDT

    gregerson getty Getty Images

    Gregerson figured to get the job after signing a three-year, $18.5 million free agent contract with Houston in early December and he pitched well enough this spring to fend off any potential competition.

  14. Roberto Osuna makes Blue Jays’ bullpen, will be youngest pitcher in franchise history

    Mar 31, 2015, 8:36 PM EDT

    osuna getty Getty Images

    The 20-year-old right-hander announced the news on his Twitter account Tuesday …

  15. Ken Giles exits Grapefruit League game with back pain

    Mar 31, 2015, 6:54 PM EDT

    ken giles getty Getty Images

    Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com shares the news …

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Fernandez (4979)
  2. C. Rodon (4336)
  3. Y. Tomas (4185)
  4. A. Rendon (4167)
  5. K. Jansen (3923)
  1. S. Doolittle (3859)
  2. C. Davis (3825)
  3. J. Verlander (3813)
  4. C. Martinez (3810)
  5. K. Bryant (3777)