The Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers continue their American League Championship Series Wednesday afternoon at Comerica Park
Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers
Texas still holds a 2-1 advantage in the ALCS despite dropping Game 3 by a 5-2 score Tuesday night in Detroit. “Every loss is disappointing,” commented Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz. “We expect to win every game, but it doesn’t work like that.” Offensively, the team received a contribution from outfielder Josh Hamilton in the last contest, getting two hits and an RBI, which makes him 4 for 9 in the last two games. He is hitless in three career plate appearances versus today’s opposing starter. One player that the team is waiting for is designated hitter Michael Young, who is hitting .111 in the postseason. Texas is 41-25 after a loss this season and 75-44 versus right-handed starters.
Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison will be making his third postseason appearance (second start), coming in off a 4-3 road win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Oct. 4, giving up two runs and five hits over five frames while also striking out nine. The left-hander finished the regular season with a 14-9 mark and 3.39 ERA, leading the team to five consecutive victories before the playoffs. Harrison tallied a solid 6-4 record and 2.99 ERA in 15 road starts, as opposing hitters hit just .235 against him. He is 1-4 with a 6.89 ERA in seven career appearances (five starts) versus the Tigers.
Detroit moved past all of its injuries and broke through in the win column, but many are questioning if the team has a chance to withstand a longer series against a talented opponent. “You want to be limping,” commented Tigers catcher Alex Avila. “You don’t want to be completely out.” He has tallied just 2 hits in 29 at-bats in the postseason, while outfielder Delmon Young is likely to be out with an abdominal straight, while designated hitter Victor Martinez injured himself on a home run last night. Detroit is 52-33 in home games and 40-24 when participating in day games.
Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello is making his third appearance (second start) in the postseason as well, coming off a perfect two innings of relief work against the Rangers on Oct. 8. The right-hander tallied a solid 14-9 record and 4.75 ERA in 31 starts during the regular season. Porcello finished with an even 5-5 mark and 5.64 ERA in 14 home starts, as opponents hit .302 against him. In two career starts versus the Rangers, he has produced a 1-1 record and 6.30 ERA, but tallied an 8-1 road win on June 7 (6 IP, ER).
Bettors will likely back the Rangers due to their 4-0 mark in Harrison’s last four starts as a road favorite, while the Tigers are 0-5 in their last five games as a home underdog.
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