ALCS – Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers
My new favortire team, the Tigers, has to be feeling bery confident about their ALDS win over the Yankees. But let’s stop for a reality check here – the Tigers would have blown that game five to every other team in MLB – maybe even a few minor league teams as well. But they found a way to win, so credit them.
I do think the Tigers have an advantage in starting pitching, with Verlander and Doug Fister. Somehow Fister has turned himself into a Cliff Lee clone, since the trade from Seattle. If he keeps this up, he will get a huge contract from Theo Epstein and the Red Sox, which he will undoubtedly underperform.
I like the Rangers bullpen more than the Tigers, with Feliz and Ogando rating higher than Velverde and Benoit. I still believe at some point this post-season Valverde is going to implode and the Tiger will not recover.
Offensively these teams are pretty close, though I think the Rangers lineup is deeper as a whole. The high end offensive players favor the Tigers with Cabrera and Victor Martinez rating higher than Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. Still, I like the Rangers chances of manufacturing a run in a key spot over the Tigers.
Boring, right? Yeah, if picking the post-season was merely about the pitching staff with the best BABIP or xFIP, the Phillies wouldn’t have been eliminated by the Cardinals. And if it was all about OPS, the Yankees would never lose. What I have realized is the post-season is about three things – momentum, hunger and experience.
Obviously both have teams have a tremendous amount of momentum, but my gut tells me the Tigers are a little too excited about beating the Yankees, while the Rangers have been quietly going about their business the entire year with the goal of getting back to the World Series and this time winning it.
Pick: Texas 4-2