Date/Time: October 13th, 8:00 PM ET
Probable Starters: Scherzer (Detroit) vs. Buchholz (Boston)
Moneyline: Red Sox -113
Game 1 of the 2013 ALCS went to the Detroit Tigers thanks to a stellar pitching performance by RHP Anibal Sanchez. Can they take a commanding 2-0 lead on the road? It will be up to the Boston Red Sox to stop them on Sunday night at Fenway Park.
The Tigers still haven’t fixed their offensive problems, but their one run was enough to steal a game on the road at Fenway Park. Manager Jim Leyland and his bullpen really picked up the team, as Sanchez only pitched through six innings before getting lifted in the middle of a no-hitter (thanks to six walks). Still, the ball didn’t get put in play all that much, and we think that there is still a real chance that this team defense could come back to bite the team in the backside when the ball does get hit. RHP Max Scherzer is set to make his third appearance and his second start in the playoffs on Saturday, as he goes in search of his 24th win of the season including the postseason. Scherzer did get into some trouble in his relief appearance, but the possibility is there that he is set to really roll after getting three straight outs without allowing a run to cross the plate after having bases loaded and nobody down in Game 4. That relief appearance set the stage for the win in that game, and it saved the season, setting up for RHP Justin Verlander and his heroics in Game 5.
The Red Sox had better get this game, or they are in a heck of a lot of trouble. Not only would they have to win two out of three in Detroit just to get this series back to Fenway Park, but they would have to probably beat Verlander on his home field, something that has been virtually impossible to do in the postseason. An 0-3 hole is a real possibility. LHP Jon Lester pitched well, but the bats were completely just gone on Saturday night. The hope is that there is some more support for RHP Clay Buchholz. Buchholz was the one pitcher for Boston that got into some trouble in the opening round of the playoffs against the Tampa Bay Rays. He allowed three runs, all of which came on a three-run dinger by 3B Evan Longoria, and it was really the first time in quite some time that he was made to pay for putting too many on base early on. Remember though, that Buchholz is 12-1 on the season, and including that iffy game in the playoffs, he still only has a 1.89 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.
The beards are going to have to be rocking and rolling in this one, and we have to think that the Red Sox are going to win this game and make this a series once again. The Dodgers afforded falling behind 2-0 because they’re going back home now. To have to go on the road down 0-2 is a nightmare that no team wants to face. Boston won’t have to.
Detroit Tigers @ Boston Red Sox Pick: Boston Red Sox -113
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.