The Early ALDS Preview

We’ve officially reached that point in the 2011 season where Tigers fans are looking past these relatively meaningless games for the ones set to be on our plate in a few days. While there is plenty still to sort out, and Red Sox fans continue to keep an eye on the out of town scoreboard, there’s no reason why we can’t look ahead to the different potential match-ups for the Tigers and who 24-game winner Justin Verlander will get to see in game one.

Let’s assume for all intents and purposes that the Angels do not make a crazy comeback that locks them in a one (or even two) game playoff for the wild card. By this assumption, the Tigers would get a first round match against the division that they one in 1987, the same division they went 20-16 against this season – the AL East.

There are two factors at play: 1) whether they are able to conquer the Texas Rangers for the second best record in the AL, and 2) who the wild card winner will be. While both questions will be answered in the next three games, the Tigers would need to win just one more game from here on out than Texas to claim the second best record. With such an accomplishment, would come the recognition of hosting the wild card opponent in the first two games at Comerica Park. Not being able to catch Texas would result in a road visit to Yankee Stadium, mirroring the start of their 2006 playoff run. The answer to that second question – the wild card winner – is looking more and more like the soaring Tampa Bay Rays will get to see the Red Sox free fall their way out of the playoffs.

Based on the current situation, and all of the potential factors, I’ve listed all three likely opponents with our head-to-head stats and most meaningful match-this season:

New York Yankees, 2011 AL East Champion – Tigers 4-3 in season series (3-1 H, 1-2 A); in game three of season Scherzer’s pitching and Cabrera/Boesch homers win the first game of the season for the Tigers, 10-7 on April 3

Boston Red Sox, Wild Card contender – Tigers 1-5 in season series (1-3 H, 0-2 A); Justin Verlander ended the Tigers’ losing streak and through 7 2/3 scoreless for the team’s only win in this series, 3-0 on May 29

Tampa Bay Rays, Wild Card contender – Tigers 6-1 in season series (3-0 H, 3-1 A); In a heated make-up game, Santiago’s extra innings triple sweeps the home series from the Rays, 2-1 on June 13

One reply on “The Early ALDS Preview

  • Hooks Dauss

    Typo alert: Intents and purposes.. Division that they won… BTW, this is NOT even close to all the possible scenarios, which means the only thing for a Tiger fan to do is SLAGAPIBE, BABY. (Stay loose as a goose and play it by ear)

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