Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
Much like the Yankees series, I think the Tigers have strong pitching matchups for most of the series. C.J. Wilson is excellent, but he's going head to head with Justin Verlander, while Max Fister vs. Derek Holland and Doug Fister vs. Colby Lewis are probably both pushes at worst, and I'd tend to lean toward both Scherzer and Fister. However, the power the Rangers' lineup possesses can be downright scary. They had five players blast at least 25 home runs this season, and that doesn't even include Michael Young, who had a great season as well. No matter how good the pitching the Tigers have, this lineup is going to put up runs, and the Tigers managed just 17 runs over five games - that won't get it done going head to head with this unit, especially without Delmon Young. Ultimately, I think the Rangers jump out to an early series lead and take both games at home to start off. The Tigers return home and take games 3 and 5, but Rick Porcello won't be able to out-duel Matt Harrison in game 4, sending the Tigers back to Texas where they'll fall in game 6, and send Texas back to the World Series. The pitching won't be bad, but the bats will go quite too often, and it's hard to see the hobbled Alex Avila or the slumping Austin Jackson being able to provide significant contributions at this point.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
As convenient as it may be to look at the Tigers 6-3 record against Texas this season and believe they can take this easily, that's not the way it works. I like Verlander in game one and I actually believe Max Scherzer has embraced the pressure of the postseason. However, I am worried about Derek Holland, as he is a tough pitcher that can roll through a lineup. I think they head back to Detroit even at a game apiece. Doug Fister against Colby Lewis in game three, I think Fister settles in at home and the Tigers take the lead back. While I would like to believe Rick Porcello can give them a commanding lead, I think Matt Harrison and the Texas offense come up huge in game four to even the series again. Verlander wins his second game in the series with a masterful performance in game five and then Scherzer holds the Rangers back just enough in game six for another thrilling series win; onto the World Series the Tigers go.
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