ALDS Preview: New York Yankees vs Detroit Tigers

New York: 97-65; 1st in AL East
Detroit: 95-67; 1st in AL Central

Game 1: Sep. 30, 8:37 PM – (C.C. Sabbathia vs Justin Verlander)
Game 2: Oct. 1, 8:37 PM – (Ivan Nova vs Doug Fister)
Game 3: Oct. 3, 8:37 PM – (Freddy Garcia vs Max Scherzer)
Game 4*: Oct. 4, _PM – (TBD vs TBD)
Game 5*: Oct. 6, _PM – (TBD vs TBD)

Road to the Playoffs
NYY: It’s hard to believe that for most of the season, the Yankees had been neck and neck with the Red Sox, swapping 1st place with the Red Sox while the Rays say 10 games behind most of the season. Now the Yanks won the division easily and the Rays knocked the Sox off for the Wild Card Spot. New York did what it always does: win. Their weak pitching staff got a huge jolt from rookie Ivan Nova, who will be the Game 2 starter. Their offense is older yet still one of the best in the game. In a season that saw Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit and Mariano Rivera’s breaking the all-time save record, the Yanks are looking to add a 28th championship to an already memorable season.

DET: Justin Verlander’s season was so incredible, it’s easy to forget how good of a year this was for the Tigers. Sure he won 24 games and is well on his way to an AL Cy Young award as well as being high up in the MVP talks as well. But this season wasn’t all Verlander. The Tigers, who play in one of the weakest divisions in baseball, got another special season out of Miguel Cabrera (.344/30/105). Victor Martinez enjoyed the best season for a catcher (.330/12/103) and guys like Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila produced in their roles as well. Five years ago, these same two teams met in the ALDS after the Tigers had an incredible season to win the Wild Card. Detroit knocked off the Yanks in four games enroute to a World Series loss to the Cards. The road goes through New York once again. Will they be back in the Fall Classic?

Prediction: These are certainly two different teams than five years ago. The Tigers don’t boast a single player in their line up and a much younger Verlander from that team whereas the Yanks not only have 4/5 of that infield intact but they have Tigers centerfielder Curtis Granderson on their side now. And Granderson just may be the difference maker in this series. He and Verlander will be the big stories of this series. Both MVP candidates and both the reasons their two teams are where they are. Though it’s a pitcher’s game, Verlander can’t be out there for five games. Yankees will sweep this series.

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