The Texas Rangers can close out the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park
Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers
Texas is just a game away from returning to the World Series for a second consecutive year, posting a 7-3 win Wednesday night and taking a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. “If you don’t like baseball, you probably like it now watching these games,” commented Rangers catcher Mike Napoli. “We expected a tough series.” The Rangers have tallied an 8-4 record over the last two postseasons. Outfielder Nelson Cruz continues to be a major story offensively, becoming the first player in MLB history to hit two extra-inning home runs in the same postseason series. He has four home runs and nine RBIs in four games. Texas is 28-24 in day games this season and the ‘over’ is 26-25 in those contests.
Rangers starting pitcher C.J. Wilson will be making his third start of the postseason, coming in with an 0-1 record and 7.46 ERA. He allowed two runs and six hits over 4 2/3 innings in leading the team to a 3-2 home win over the Tigers in Game 1. The left-hander tallied an 8-5 mark and 2.31 ERA in 18 road starts during the regular season, as opponents hit just .219 against him. Wilson came into this series with seven career appearances (one start) versus the Tigers, posting an 0-1 record and 5.56 ERA.
Detroit has its back up against the wall, but nobody is expecting the team to give up without a fight. “We battled as long as we could,” commented Tigers utility player Brandon Inge. “It just didn’t work out for us. Out of 32 teams to face 3-1 deficits in the LCS, six have come back to win it, including four in the ALCS. It would be a disappointing end to a season that saw the club hammer opponents in September, while also having the AL batting champion and potentially the Cy Young Award winner. Detroit is 40-25 in day games and the ‘over’ is 32-30 in that span.
Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander has been far from his dominant self in the playoffs, posting a 1-1 record and 5.54 ERA in three starts, but two of those have been plagued by rain. The right-hander tallied an impressive 10-3 mark and 2.37 ERA in 16 home starts during the regular season, as opponents managed to hit just .198 against him. He was handed a 3-2 road loss in Game 1 of the series, allowing three runs and five hits over four frames in a rain-shortened effort.
Bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 41-15 record as a home favorite with Verlander on the hill, while the Rangers are 2-5 in Wilson’s last seven efforts as a road underdog.
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