The Detroit Tigers (3-2) and New York Yankees (3-2) will meet up in Game 1 of the 2012 American League Championship Series on Saturday night at Yankee Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:07 ET
Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees
Detroit rode its ace to an ALDS victory over the Oakland Athletics, as last year’s AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander pitched a complete-game four-hitter on Thursday night. The Tigers are now hoping to get third baseman Miguel Cabrera going offensively in this series, as he went 5 for 20 with a single RBI versus the Athletics. A lot of expectations have been placed on baseball’s first Triple Crown winner in over 40 years, but he’s just a .179 hitter in 11 postseason games against the Bronx Bombers. Detroit is 1-5 in its last six road playoff games.
Tigers starting pitcher Doug Fister (10-10, 3.45 ERA) went 1-1 with a 6.52 ERA in two division series games against tonight’s opponent a year ago, but he did put together a solid performance against the Athletics. The right-hander failed to earn a decision in a 5-4 home victory over the Athletics on Oct. 7, allowing two runs and six hits over seven frames. In 13 regular season starts away from home, Fister compiled a 4-7 record and 3.70 ERA, with opposing hitters batting .263 against him.
New York will not have an opportunity to rest before this crucial series, as the club closed out the Baltimore Orioles in five games with a 3-1 home win on Friday afternoon. “We, as a team, haven’t swung the bats as well as we would have liked to,” stated Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson. Yankees manager Joe Girardi made some key moves to get his club to this point, including a benching of third baseman Alex Rodriguez, which could actually extend to this contest. New York is 13-3 in its last 16 games versus right-handed starters.
Yankees starting pitcher Andy Pettitte (5-4, 2.87 ERA) suffered a 3-2 setback on the road against the Orioles in the ALDS, allowing three runs and seven hits over seven frames. The left-hander went 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA in seven home outings, surrendering four home runs in 43.2 combined innings. In 23 career regular season starts against the Tigers, Pettitte has registered a 10-9 record and 3.66 ERA. He has gone 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA in three postseason outings at the new Yankee Stadium.
Sports bettors will likely back the Yankees due to their 4-0 record in Pettitte’s last four home starts versus winning teams, while the Tigers are 4-9 in Fister’s last 13 efforts on the road.