Date/Time: October 12th, 8:00 PM ET
Probable Starters: Sanchez (Detroit) vs. Lester (Boston)
Moneyline: Red Sox -135
The 2013 ALCS comes down to the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox, and we are set to analyze Game 1 of this best of seven series at Fenway Park on the MLB betting lines.
The Tigers really only made it to this point in the season thanks to RHP Justin Verlander. Unfortunately for Manager Jim Leyland and company, they can’t call upon Verlander for at least another two games, and that leaves RHP Anibal Sanchez to pitch in this one. Sanchez had all sorts of problems with the Oakland Athletics, as batters were taking him out to left field all game long. He only lasted 4.1 innings, and he allowed six runs, five of which were earned, including a trio of homers. If the long ball is going to become a problem, this is going to be a very short outing for Sanchez, as the Red Sox hitters have the Green Monster to hit at. Another issue that could be had: LF Jhonny Peralta is an infielder by trade. We saw Sean Rodriguez and Kelly Johnson both have problems fielding the ball off of the Monster, and that might turn out to be an issue in this game if balls are getting up in the air.
Boston has had a few days off, and it is turning its attention back to its Game 1 starter from the ALDS, LHP Jon Lester. Manager John Farrell isn’t trying to change a heck of a lot from that opening series, as it was one of the easier jaunts to get into the second round that any of the four teams had that are at this level, but he knows there is an added bonus as well. Detroit really didn’t fare all that well against left-handed pitching this season, especially in the second half of the year. If that keeps up in this one, the Tigers are in a lot of trouble. Lester had a fantastic second half of the season to close the year at 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA. He was the Game 1 winner after allowing just two solo home runs to the Rays. Lester only allowed one other hit in 7.2 innings of work, and he was a much-deserved winner on the day after getting a lot of help from his offense (and the Tampa Bay defense coughing up runs).
The Sox are the better team in this series as we see it, and we think that they are going to be the team that gets the job done on Saturday in Game 1. If there are going to be problems, those problems aren’t going to come with Sanchez on the mound, and though the righty did lead the team in ERA this year, we still think that he is going to ultimately get bombed out of this game by the sixth inning.
Detroit Tigers @ Boston Red Sox Pick: Boston Red Sox -135
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.