The last of the division series will be decided tonight after the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 5 of their series yesterday. Today, the Tigers and the Oakland Athletics will play a Game 5 of their own for the second straight year to decide which team will move on to face the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS.
Just like last year, the A's must face Justin Verlander who they could not solve last year and in the second game of this year's ALDS. Their home field advantage did not help them last year. Will it help the A's this year?
- The Detroit Tigers over the Oakland Athletics: This game has several scenarios that could happen. The A's have taken a huge gamble by bringing back Sonny Gray to start instead of Colon. After the second game of the series, will the Tigers have a better gauge on Gray? Scenario one: Gray and Verlander are again dominant and the A's again win late because of the Tigers' bullpen. Scenario two: The cracks in Verlander's season reappear here in Game 5 and the A's get to him early with Gray being good enough to get to the A's bullpen. Scenario three: Neither pitcher is effective and the A's win a slugfest with superior defense. Scenario four: Verlander is again dominant and the A's pay the price for starting a young and inexperienced pitcher in the biggest game of the season. The trick is to pick which scenario is more likely. As much as I'd like to believe the first three scenarios are possible, the last one seems the most probable. Verlander has been here before and knows what to do. Sonny Gray is being asked to pull off a miracle. I don't see it happening.
Post season: 13-7