Get the Athlon Sports Newsletter
Detroit Tigers v. New York Yankees
The torch is being passed once again in New York. Aging stars Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada are passing along the great pinstripe tradition to Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner, among others. And like Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez and Bernie Williams before them, the role of postseason favorite continues. But the Tigers won four of seven during the regular season, so winning three of five is not unrealistic at all. On Opening Day, the last day of March, Justin Verlander of the Tigers faced CC Sabathia in New York. It was a marquee matchup then and it is on the last day of September. The two teams haven’t seen each other since May 5, so don’t read much into the Tigers’ 4-3 season advantage. Mariano Rivera and Jose Valverde are the best two closers in the AL making these contests eight-inning games.
Key for Detroit
Verlander, a lock for the Cy Young award if not the MVP, could get two starts, but the Tigers must find a way to win when he’s not on the mound.
Key for New York
New York must score runs in bunches. The Yankees don’t have starting pitchers — not even Sabathia — that can consistently shut down opponents, so they must outscore them.
Tiger to Watch
Doug Fister, acquired from Seattle at the trade deadline, will start Game 2 in New York. His last start for the Mariners was a 4-1 loss at Yankee Stadium. Fister tossed seven strong innings and is pitching with much more confidence with the Tigers.
Yankees to Watch
Ivan Nova (Game 2 starter) and Freddy Garcia (Game 3 starter) must prove they can keep opponents at bay and pitch deep enough into games to keep pressure off the bullpen.
New York in 5