Date/Time: October 8th, 5:00 PM ET
Probable Starters: Straily (Oakland) vs. Fister (Detroit)
Moneyline: Tigers -152
The Detroit Tigers know that they need to fend off elimination on Tuesday night at Comerica Park, and they are going to be asked to do so against an Oakland Athletics team that is playing with its hair on fire.
Oakland has pitched phenomenal baseball over the course of this series, and the team is really just one more big time win away from getting the job done and advancing to the ALCS. The A’s are going to remember last season when it had a shot to close out this series, only to ultimately lose Game 5. They aren’t going to want to face either RHP Justin Verlander or RHP Max Scherzer on Thursday, and as a result, this is a game that they are going to want to claim. RHP Daniel Straily is the fourth starter that will be called upon, and this isn’t a bad option to turn the ball over to. Straily only went 10-8 on the season, but he did lead the team to a 16-11 record in his 27 starts. A 3.96 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP aren’t fantastic numbers, but they are definitely there to be reckoned with. Straily has gone six straight starts allowing three runs or fewer, but he hasn’t pitched since September 25th.
The Tigers scored three runs in the first inning in Game 1, and they scored three innings in the fourth inning of Game 3. Take those two frames out, and what’s left is nothing but zeroes. It has to be tempting for Manager Jim Leyland in what might be the last game of his career to go to Scherzer for this game, but he is going to stick with his guns and let RHP Doug Fister pitch. Fister hasn’t started a game since September 24th, but he did throw a frame in the last game of the year against the Miami Marlins. He went 14-9 this year with a 3.67 ERA. The Fresno State grad set a career high with 159 strikeouts this year, but this is just the second time that he has pitched more than 170 innings in his career. This is a big concern, especially for a team that really isn’t scoring all that many runs at this point.
This time of year, when you can’t hit the baseball, it’s really contagious. We see teams work out of it from time to time, but for the most part, it’s all said and done with when you run out of clutch options to hit it, and it doesn’t matter who is on the mound. The Tigers are in that situation right now, and we think that there is a great chance that they are going to be eliminated on their home turf on Tuesday night.
Oakland Athletics @ Detroit Tigers Pick: Oakland Athletics +145
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.