The Tigers enter the playoffs with a date against the Oakland Athletics. Although the A’s don’t look so good on paper, the team has worked well enough to capture the AL West division so they are not a team to joke with. This match up will be a battle of David vs. Goliath. Big market vs. small market. Nevertheless, here are the key factors for the Tigers in this series.
Pitchers not named Justin Verlander
Other than Verlander, the pitchers on the Tigers are very hit-or-miss. You have Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez rounding out the rotation behind Verlander. For example, you could either get a Fister that strikes out seven batters en route to a shutout victory or you get a Fister that gives up three homers on eight earned runs en route to a loss. The rest of the rotation needs to step up their game not just in this series, but in the entire post season.
Using star power
The Tigers have many recognizable names such as Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Justin Verlander. Those three players need to play to their billing and not collapse under the pressure. The postseason is where legends are made and these three guys need to make a name for themselves.
Don’t be surprised by the A’s
The A’s have a very effective pitching staff and not many people know about it. Not many people recognize the names Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, A.J Griffin, Dan Straily and Travis Blackley. As for their batters, they aren’t as effective as their pitching, but they hit well enough to win games. Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick are two names the Tigers should watch out for. They are very dangerous batters that can hit the deep ball. The Tigers need to make sure they don’t underestimate the team or else the A’s will use the element of surprise to their advantage. The Tigers need to treat the A’s like the division champion they are.
About the Author
Written by Mark Kim
A student at the University of Missouri-Columbia looking to major in Sports Journalism.