Monday, September 30, 2013

3 reasons the Tigers will win their ALDS vs. Oakland (and 3 reasons they will not)

On paper, I do believe the Tigers have a better overall team than Oakland, but the home field edge is probably an equalizer. So I look at the odds of the Tigers winning the series about 50-50. I expect it to be close, but wouldn't be surprised if it isn't one way or another. It's just the nature of postseason baseball. It's very unpredictable.
                          Three reasons the Tigers will win this series
1. The Tigers starting pitching is far better than Oakland's. I know Bartolo Colon had a terrific season statistically, but he is a soft tosser at this stage and I see the Tigers possibly lighting him up like a pinball machine. Ditto for the remainder of the A's rotation. They are decidedly hittable by a lineup with the experience and raw talent the Tigers will present. Conversely, each Tigers' starter is capable of turning in 7 innings or more consistently in playoff starts.
2. The Tigers have more hitters who can take over a short series. Nobody in the A's lineup is going to the Hall of Fame. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder probably will, and Torii Hunter and Victor Martinez are borderline Hall of Famers.
3. The Tigers know they can beat the A's. They did it last season. And they did in Game 5 at Oakland.
                Three reasons the Tigers will not win this series
1. It's true the Tigers have won on the road in the playoffs before, but it would be naïve to believe home field advantage isn't an significant edge for the A's. Both teams play in unique ball parks, Comerica Park because of the gaps are so wide, and Oakland is an older ball park with a lot of nuance. Crowd noise and atmosphere does play a role in what happens on the field in the postseason.
2. Oakland has a deeper and better bullpen than the Tigers. The A's had the third-best bullpen in the AL this season with a 24-18 record, a 3.32 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. The Tigers' bullpen ranked 12th in the AL with a 17-25 record, a 4.01 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.
3. On paper, the Tigers may have the better team, but on the field, Oakland has won more games than Detroit the last two regular seasons. The A's two-year record is 190-134 compared to 181-143 by the Tigers.


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