MLB Playoff Predictions 2012: Oakland Athletics vs. Detroit Tigers

The Oakland Athletics (94-68) and Detroit Tigers (88-74) will open up their American League Division Series on Saturday night inside Comerica Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:07 ET

Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers   

The Detroit Tigers are led by 3B Miguel Cabrera offensively

Oakland returns to the Motor City, which happens to be the home of its last postseason appearance six years ago, as it fell short in the American League Championship Series.    The Athletics got tremendous production out of first-year players this year, with 56 home runs and 54 wins coming from rookies.  The youthful roster closed out the 2012 regular season with six consecutive victories.  Oakland is 23-18 versus AL Central opponents this year, with the UNDER going 22-18 in that situation.

Athletics starting pitcher Jarrod Parker (13-8, 3.47 ERA) will put his personal four-game win streak on the line, as he comes off a 4-3 home victory over the Texas Rangers, allowing three runs and six hits over six frames.  The right-hander is 7-3 with a 4.54 ERA in 14 road outings, surrendering six home runs in 81.1 combined frames.  Parker suffered a 3-1 setback at home in his only career start against the Tigers on May 13, giving up two runs and six hits over 5.2 innings.

Detroit was very inconsistent over the course of the season, but it ended up where it needed to be this time of year, playing in the 2012 MLB playoffs.  “I think it’s been a little different type year, obviously,” stated Tigers manager Jim Leyland.  “But basically we’re here now.”  The Tigers are led by Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, who hit .330 with 44 home runs and 139 RBIs.  He hit an amazing .429 in the final month of the season to pull off the feat.  Detroit is 13-20 versus AL West opponents this year, with the OVER going 16-15 in that situation.

Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (17-8, 2.64 ERA) closed out the season by winning his last four games, including a 6-4 road victory over the Minnesota Twins in his last effort, allowing one unearned run and four hits over seven frames.  The right-hander is 9-2 with a 1.65 ERA in 15 home starts, with opposing hitters batting .187 against him.  In 13 career starts versus the Athletics, Verlander has tallied a 7-5 record and 2.38 ERA, including a 6-2 home win on Sept. 19.

Sports bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 23-5 record in Verlander’s last 28 starts as a home favorite of -151 to -200, while the Athletics are 5-9 as a road underdog of +150 to +175.

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