New York: 95-67; 1st in AL East
Detroit: 88-74; 1st in AL Central
Game 1: Oct. 13, 8:00 – (Andy Pettitte vs Doug Fister)
Game 2: Oct. 14, 4:00 PM – (TBA vs Anibal Sanchez)
Game 3: Oct. 16, 8:00 PM – (C.C. Sabbathia vs Justin Verlander)
Game 4: Oct. 17, 8:00 PM – (TBA vs Max Scherzer)
Game 5*: Oct. 18, 4:00 PM
Game 6*: Oct. 20, 8:00 PM
Game 7*: Oct. 21, 8:00 PM
Position Players (13): R Martin, M Teixeira, R Cano, D Jeter, A Rodriguez, I Suzuki, C Granderson, N Swisher, J Nix, R Ibanez, B Gardner, C Stewart, E Chavez.
Pitchers (12): C Sabbathia, H Kuroda, D Phelps, P Hughes, A Pettitte, B Logan, C Rapada, J Chamberlain, C Eppley, D Lowe, D Robertson, R Soriano (CL).
Position Players (14): A Avila, G Laird, M Cabrera, P Fielder, O Infante, J Peralta, R Santiago, D Worth, Q Berry, A Dirks, A Garcia, A Jackson, D Kelly, D Young.
Pitchers (11): A Alburquerque, J Benoit, P Coke, O Dotel, D Fister, R Porcello, A Sanchez, M Scherzer, D Smyly, J Valverde (CL), J Verlander.
Yankees top Orioles in 5: In a surprising turn of events, the Division Series was filled with pitching battles as opposed to the season series that was filled with home runs and high scoring games. The two teams split the series in Baltimore, heading back to New York where they would stretch the series to five games.
Game 3 and 4 were classic extra-inning battles for both teams. In Game 3 while pinch-hitting for Alex Rodrigues, Raul Ibanez hit a game-tying home run off Jim Johnson in the 9th inning. In the 11th, Ibanez’s magic struck again with his walk-off homer. In game 4, the Orioles won in a 13-inning marathon thanks to JJ Hardy’s RBI double.
New York rode a complete game effort by ace C.C. Sabbathia in Game 5. The left-hander allowed only a run on four hits and a walk, striking out nine while throwing 126 pitches to beat the Orioles.
Tigers top A’s in 5: The Tigers faced the West Division champion Oakland A’s in another low-scoring series. They held Oakland to only 11 runs in all five games, proving once again that Money Ball does not work in the post season.
The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 series lead at home, winning 3-1 and then 5-4 on a Don Kelly sacrifice fly. Oakland battled back at home, taking the next two games to force a Game 5. In the third game, four A’s pitchers combined to shutout the Tigers. In Game 4, Coco Crisp hit a walk-off single to win, 5-4.
Game 5 belonged to Justin Verlander and the Tigers. Verlander threw 122 pitches in a 6-0 shutout win, going the distance while allowing only four hits and a walk, striking out 11.
Prediction: The Tigers took advantage of a weak AL Central, compiling the worst division-winning record with only 88 wins. But they feature the Triple Crown winner in Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and reigning MVP/Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.
New York, on the other hand, has battled injuries, slumps and endured the toughest division in baseball to still win 95 games. They will rely on timely hitting from their veterans Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson.
New York is the more experienced team, but Detroit has the producing talent. It could come down to pitching again, which Detroit has the slight edge.
Tigers in 7.