ALCS Preview

Texas Rangers vs. Detroit Tigers

Texas Rangers

Things did not look great for the Rangers after their ace CJ Wilson got blasted for six runs in a 9-1 loss in game 1 of the ALDS to the Tampa Bay Rays. However, after falling behind in game 2, the Rangers went on to win the next three games and take the series in four. A five run 4th inning in game 2 off of James Shield was enough to tie the series. The Rays had another lead in game three but Texas used another four run inning to pick up a 2-1 series lead.  In game four the Rangers hit four solo home runs, including three from Adrian Beltre to propel themselves to their second straight ALCS.  For Tampa Bay, despite the great comeback in the regular season, they must feel that they let the series slip away with leads in the first three games.

Here’s the information on the Rangers from the regular season.

The Texas Rangers hit 210 home runs and hit .283 as a team. In a shocking development, Michael Young led the team in batting average at .338.  It’s the sixth season in Young’s career of over 200 hits.  The Rangers had four players hit have at least 25 home runs and five players with at least 242 total bases.  Adrian Beltre was tied for the team lead  in home runs and led the team in RBIs while only playing in 124 games. He was recently named AL player of the month for September.  Ian Kinsler had a 30/30 season as well.  CJ Wilson was the Ace of the pitching staff. Wilson won 16 games, had 206 strike outs and a 2.94 ERA.  All five starters in the Rangers’ rotation won at least 13 games.  Derek Holland, who is starting Game 2, went 16-5 with a 3.95 ERA.  Neftali Feliz is the closer for the Rangers and saved 32 games in the regular season. However, fans were worried because his strikeouts were down and his blown saves were up .  Mike Adams, the great set up man acquired from San Diego at the trade deadline, posted a 2.10 ERA in 27 games in Texas.  Alexi Ogando, who was a starter during the season, will be put in the bullpen to solidify an already great group of relievers.

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers shocked the world when they went into New York for a game 5 and won. Many people thought that the Tigers let the series slip away when they lost game four at home.  Robinson Cano had six RBIs in game 1 as the Yankees pounded Doug Fister after the game was rained out on Saturday and washed away a Verlander and CC matchup. Miguel Cabrera’s three hits and two run home run set the tone in game 2 as Max Scherzer pitched a gem to tie the series at 1. In game three, Justin Verlander outpitched CC Sabithia while Delmon Young’s home run in the 7th inning put the Tigers one win away from the ALCS.  Curtis Granderson made two unbelievable catches while his teammate AJ Burnett actually pitched into the sixth inning. While up 4-1, the Yankees put together a six spot in the eighth inning to wrap up the game and send it back to the Bronx for a decisive game 5. Don Kelly and Delmon Young hit back to back home runs in the 1st inning and Victor Martinez’s RBI single in the 5th inning was the game winner for the Tigers.  The Yankees certainly made it interesting as Derek Jeter just missed a possible game winning home run in the 8th inning and Jose Valverde picked up his 51st consecutive save.

Here’s some information on the Tigers from the regular season.

The Detroit Tigers were fourth in runs scored in baseball and it’s not hard to see why. Miguel Cabrera hit .344, had 30 home runs, 105 RBIs, .448 OBP and a OPS of 1.033. If Cabrera doesn’t eat or drink himself out of playing shape, there’s no reason why he won’t be a Hall of Famer when his career is over.  Victor Martinez was a very nice #2 option for the Tigers, hitting .330 with a 103 RBIs.  Alex Avila came out of nowhere to hit .295 with 19 home runs, 82 RBIs and a OBP of .382. Justin Verlander had one of the greatest seasons for a pitcher in baseball history. (24 wins, 2.40 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 250 strikeouts) Doug Fister came over from the dread of Seattle to go 7-1 for Detroit. Max Scherzer had an up and down year, winning 15 games, but posting a 4.40 ERA. Rick Porcello won 14 games, but posted an ERA close to 5. Brad Penny was terrible, but hey at least he’s going to get married to Karina Smirnoff right? The closer for the Tigers, Jose Valverde, is perhaps the most annoying player in baseball with his antics, but did go 49-49 in save opportunities.


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