Home field advantage has held up thus far in the first two MLB betting battles of the ALDS, and tonight, the Oakland Athletics have to hope that that continues when they take on the Detroit Tigers, or their season will come to a crashing halt.
The Tigers knew what they had to do in the first two games of this series, and they did just that. They still know that they have Justin Verlander waiting in the wings to pitch Game 5 of this series if that’s what it comes down to, but in the end, they hope to not have to do that. The offense has been as clutch as clutch could be over the course of the first two games, and it has been happening up and down the lineup. If that happens again, it will be a great boost for Anibal Sanchez, who will be making just his 13th start of the campaign for his new team today. Sanchez went 4-6 with a 3.74 ERA with Detroit, but his losing record was largely thanks to the fact that the team only gave him 3.5 runs of support per game. Including his time early this year with the Miami Marlins, Sanchez went 9-13 with a 3.86 ERA. He struck out a total of 167 batters and walked just 48.
Desperate times call for desperate measures for the Athletics, but they know that they aren’t quite dead yet. Remember that they needed to win all three games against the Texas Rangers to end the regular season here at the O.co Coliseum just to win the AL West, and they have to think that they can do it again to the Tigers in this spot. Brett Anderson has only survived six starts all year long, and he has just a total of 38 starts in his last three seasons. He hasn’t thrown a pitch in a live game since September 19th either, but he is the man that is going to be on the mound for this one. We all know that Anderson has some nasty stuff, and the fact that he has a 2.57 ERA and a 25/7 K/BB ratio for the year has proven just that. He has kept the ball in the park, allowing just one homer, and he has given up just 29 hits in 35 frames. But that last number still remains the problem: He has only thrown 35 innings in three starts, and his last two starts he allowed eight runs in 9.0 innings of work.
It’s a risky move by the A’s to go with Anderson in this game, and we think that it is going to bite them in the backside for doing so. The Tigers have the best team in baseball in our eyes, and we think that they are going to show it on Tuesday by locking up a bid to the ALCS. Detroit 6 – Oakland 2