MLB

more stats

American League Division Series Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, October 5th (All times Eastern)

Detroit Tigers (1-0) at Oakland Athletics (0-1), 9:07 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Justin Verlander (13-12, 3.46) Oakland - Sonny Gray (5-3, 2.67)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Justin Verlander can put a season's worth of frustration behind him on Saturday, as he tries to give the Detroit Tigers a commanding two games to none lead over the Oakland Athletics in the best-of-five American League Division Series at O.co Coliseum.

Verlander nowhere near resembled the pitcher who not only won an AL Cy Young back in 2011, but was also the league's MVP. The hard-throwing righty never got into a groove and ended the year 13-12 with his highest ERA (3.46), lowest strikeout rate (23.5 percent) and lowest innings total (218 1/3) since 2008, while battling reduced velocity.

"I honestly don't look at myself any differently. We aren't robots, things aren't always perfect, and this is a season that opened my eyes to that fact," said Verlander, who didn't allow a run over his last two starts and pitched to a 2.27 ERA in September. "The last couple of years came pretty easy to me, right from the Spring Training, from the jump street, it was like, 'OK, my pitches are good, go from here.'

"This year wasn't like that. I would fix something and that would cause a kink in the chain, and I would fix that. It was a matter of getting myself to where I need to do be. It was a year-long battle. I'm not going to lie. This is something I worked on from early in the season until a couple of weeks ago, and I felt like the last couple of starts were where I needed to be. It's funny that it took all year, but hopefully I figured it out and peaking at the right time."

Verlander, of course, tossed a shutout in Game 5 versus the A's last year in the ALDS, but he has been pretty pedestrian in the postseason, pitching to a 4.22 ERA in 12 starts.

Even with the off year from Verlander, the Tigers starting staff still led the AL in almost every major category. A big reason for that was the play of Max Scherzer, who put forth a Cy Young caliber season of his own with a major league-best 21 wins.

Scherzer was again on the mark in Game 1 on Friday, as he allowed two runs and struck out 11 over seven innings in Detroit's 3-2 win.

Miguel Cabrera's RBI single highlighted Detroit's three-run first, which was more than enough cushion for the 21-game winner Scherzer (1-0), who surrendered just three hits.

"I thought Scherzer was pretty well locked in all night, he was awful determined," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "I think he was thrilled to get Game 1, I think it meant a lot to him."

Victor Martinez tallied two hits and a run scored, while Alex Avila added a pair of hits and an RBI for the defending AL-champion Tigers.

Teams have gone up 2-0 in the ALDS 22 times and advanced in 18 of them.

Bartolo Colon (0-1), whose 18 regular-season wins were second-best in the AL, yielded three runs on 10 hits over six innings. Colon never got a chance to pitch in last year's ALDS. He served a 50-game ban for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Yoenis Cespedes smacked a two-run homer and a triple, accounting for two of Oakland's three hits against Scherzer. The A's struck out 16 times.

On Saturday the A's will turn to rookie right-hander Sonny Gray, who was terrific down the stretch. Gray was 5-3 overall on the season, but 3-1 in September with a 2.79 ERA in five starts.

"It's something you really look forward to, growing up, and hopefully someday you get a chance to do it," Gray said. "Fortunately for me, this is my second, maybe third month in the big leagues and I'm getting to start a playoff game. There are a lot of guys in this game who said they wished they'd gotten the opportunity and they just haven't been on a playoff team. I'm very fortunate and I'm just going to try and go out there and make the most of it."

Gray has never faced the Tigers, but pitched to a 1.90 ERA in six home starts and struck out 38 batters over 40 2/3 innings of those outings.

"The problem with Sonny Gray," said Leyland, "is we don't know much about him, other than what we've seen on TV."

Detroit, which lost four of seven games against the A's during the season, has beaten Oakland the last two times these teams have met in the postseason. The A's only win against the Tigers in the playoffs came in the 1972 ALCS, which started a run of three consecutive world titles for Oakland.

Game 3 will be in Detroit on Monday.

10/05 10:22:22 ET

  • CBB: Georgetown at St. John's

    Today at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: UNC at Miami

    Today at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Kentucky

    Today at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Folds of Honor 500 in Atlanta

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NHL: Hurricanes at NY Islanders

    Tonight at 5:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Boston College

    Tonight at 6:00 on WRAL-FM

  • ACC: Syracuse at Duke

    Tonight at 7:00 on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
12:00pm Today
UCF
ECU
12:00pm Today
BC
NCSU
2:00pm Today
MIAMI
UNC
4:00pm Today
NCCU
COOK
 
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
DUKE
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
DET
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
ATL
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MEM
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
BRK
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
MIL
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
SAN
1st
LIP 23
KNST 23
 
1st
GHND 7
NAVY 22
 
12:00pm Today
LAF
ARMY
 
12:00pm Today
AMER
BUCK
 
12:00pm Today
UCF
ECU
12:00pm Today
STJ
GEOR
12:00pm Today
CLEM
GT
12:00pm Today
COL
LEH
 
12:00pm Today
FSU
LOU
12:00pm Today
MD
MICH
12:00pm Today
UGA
MIZZ
12:00pm Today
BC
NCSU
12:30pm Today
LAS
RIU
1:00pm Today
UNH
MAINE
 
1:00pm Today
IUPUI
NEOM
 
1:00pm Today
WINT
PBY
 
1:00pm Today
VMI
SAMF
 
1:00pm Today
CITA
WCU
 
2:00pm Today
DEP
BUT
2:00pm Today
LONG
CAMP
 
2:00pm Today
TULA
CIN
2:00pm Today
VCU
DAY
2:00pm Today
TOWS
DEL
 
2:00pm Today
WMARY
DREX
 
2:00pm Today
JVU
FLGC
 
2:00pm Today
EVAN
ILLST
 
2:00pm Today
BRAD
INDST
 
2:00pm Today
MIAMI
UNC
2:00pm Today
WICHS
NIOWA
2:00pm Today
UWGB
OU
 
2:00pm Today
LSU
MISS
2:00pm Today
OKLA
TCU
2:00pm Today
BING
UMBC
 
2:00pm Today
AFA
UTST
2:00pm Today
GTDNS
VERM
 
2:00pm Today
XAV
VILL
2:00pm Today
MNTER
WAGN
 
2:00pm Today
ILLCH
WRST
 
2:30pm Today
YALE
SARAHLAW
 
3:00pm Today
UAB
MTST
3:00pm Today
NDAK
SUTAH
 
3:00pm Today
LIB
UNCA
 
3:05pm Today
CHIST
WLVRN
 
3:30pm Today
UMO
BGU
 
3:30pm Today
SHU
LIU
 
3:30pm Today
APP
LAMON
 
4:00pm Today
VANDY
ALA
4:00pm Today
KENT
ARK
4:00pm Today
NCCU
COOK
 
4:00pm Today
MRGST
COPST
 
4:00pm Today
SHU
CREI
4:00pm Today
BONA
DUQ
4:00pm Today
MERC
ETST
 
4:00pm Today
UMASS
FORD
4:00pm Today
RAD
GWEBB
 
4:00pm Today
JMU
HOF
 
4:00pm Today
BU
HC
 
4:00pm Today
KYST
ISU
4:00pm Today
DELST
MDES
 
4:00pm Today
LOYC
MIZST
 
4:00pm Today
IDAHO
MNTST
 
4:00pm Today
MCNST
NICST
 
4:00pm Today
TTU
OKST
4:00pm Today
PORT
SDU
 
4:00pm Today
BRY
Terriers
 
4:00pm Today
RMU
RFLSH
 
4:00pm Today
UVA
VT
4:00pm Today
BAY
WVU
4:00pm Today
FUR
WOFF
 
4:05pm Today
SILL
DRAK
 
4:30pm Today
FD
CCST
 
4:30pm Today
WMICH
EMICH
 
4:30pm Today
CSOU
HIGH
 
5:00pm Tonight
UNCG
CHAT
 
5:00pm Tonight
SD
SDKST
 
5:00pm Tonight
CARK
SELA
 
5:00pm Tonight
KU
TEX
5:05pm Tonight
EWASH
MONT
 
5:15pm Tonight
TROY
UGST
 
5:30pm Tonight
TXST
ARKST
 
5:30pm Tonight
UNT
ODU
6:00pm Tonight
CORN
DART
 
6:00pm Tonight
NCAT
FAM
 
6:00pm Tonight
PSU
IOWA
6:00pm Tonight
MORE
JVST
 
6:00pm Tonight
PEPP
LMU
 
6:00pm Tonight
SCAR
MSST
6:00pm Tonight
BRO
PRIN
 
6:00pm Tonight
NEV
SJST
6:00pm Tonight
SCST
SAV
 
6:00pm Tonight
BEL
TENST
 
6:00pm Tonight
UF
TENN
6:00pm Tonight
ALAST
TXSOU
 
6:30pm Tonight
SOUTH
ALCOR
 
6:30pm Tonight
JST
MVSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
SEMIZ
PEAY
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
BST
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
BUF
 
7:00pm Tonight
LBSU
CSFU
 
7:00pm Tonight
MARS
FATL
7:00pm Tonight
STLU
GMAS
7:00pm Tonight
DAVID
GWU
7:00pm Tonight
HOW
HAMP
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLMB
HARV
 
7:00pm Tonight
LAM
INCWORD
 
7:00pm Tonight
YOUNG
UWMIL
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENNM
MURST
 
7:00pm Tonight
ELON
UNCW
 
7:00pm Tonight
ILL
NW
7:00pm Tonight
YALE
PENN
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALAAM
PVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJOE
RICH
7:00pm Tonight
UNF
STET
 
7:00pm Tonight
HART
USB
 
7:00pm Tonight
DUKE
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
EKENT
TENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
LATU
TXSA
7:00pm Tonight
NKENTUCKY
USCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAST
WILL
 
7:05pm Tonight
UMKC
GRCN
 
7:15pm Tonight
NO
ABCHRIST
 
8:00pm Tonight
SDST
BSU
8:00pm Tonight
NILL
CMICH
 
8:00pm Tonight
RICE
CHAR
8:00pm Tonight
ORU
DEN
 
8:00pm Tonight
WKENT
FIU
8:00pm Tonight
TXPA
NMST
 
8:00pm Tonight
COC
NE
 
8:00pm Tonight
TAMCC
SHSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SCU
GAELS
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOUB
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMISS
UTEP
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
TULSA
8:00pm Tonight
UNLV
WYO
8:15pm Tonight
TXARL
ARKLR
 
8:15pm Tonight
LALAF
GSOUT
 
8:30pm Tonight
TEXAM
AUB
8:30pm Tonight
ARKPB
GRAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTAH
ARZ
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
NARZ
 
10:00pm Tonight
GONZ
BYU
10:00pm Tonight
WEBER
IDST
 
10:00pm Tonight
FRES
NMU
10:00pm Tonight
USF
PAC
 
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL
UCD
 
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
SACST
 
10:30pm Tonight
SEAT
CALST
 
10:30pm Tonight
CSNO
UCR
 
10:30pm Tonight
USC
WASH
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
UCI
 
3:00pm Today
FLA
BUF
3:00pm Today
NAS
DET
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
CAR
5:00pm Tonight
CLB
NJD
5:30pm Tonight
BOS
ARI
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
PHI
NYR
10:00pm Tonight
COL
MIN
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
OTT
10:00pm Tonight
EDM
STL