Tigers face elimination game Tuesday against Oakland
The Detroit Tigers were World Series betting favorites at WagerWeb for much of the year but they could be bounced from the postseason on Tuesday evening when Oakland looks to finish off the AL Division Series in four games. The Tigers are slight WagerWeb favorites to send the series back to Oakland.
Oakland won Game 3 on Monday 6-3. Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and Seth Smith homered for the Athletics, who chased Anibal Sanchez in the fifth inning Monday. Moss broke a 3-all tie in the fifth with a solo shot, and Smith’s two-run drive later in the inning ended Sanchez’s day. Oakland totaled three runs combined in the first two games of this series.
Sanchez, the American League’s ERA leader, allowed six runs — five earned — and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. Sanchez allowed 0.45 homers per nine innings in the regular season, the lowest mark in the AL. Oakland took him deep three times; he had not allowed more than one in a start previously this year. Jarrod Parker gave up three runs in five innings for Oakland, and the Tigers couldn’t rally against the bullpen. Oakland had lost four straight road postseason games, including two in Detroit last year.
The big issue for the Tigers is their offense, which ranked second in the AL in runs scored in the regular season, but ranked 27th in the majors in home runs in September and has scored runs in just two innings in three games in this series. A large reason for those struggles has been Miguel Cabrera, who had just two extra-base hits in September. Manager Jim Leyland has decided to stick with his injured star, but it’s clear he’s not remotely close to the hitter he was for most of the season.
Cabrera, who has battled problems with his groin, hit a sharp grounder down the line in left field in the first, but he has been slowed so much that he couldn’t even try to stretch the hit into a double. Cabrera has reached base in all 27 of his postseason games with the Tigers.
Oakland starts Dan Straily in this game. Straily led all American League rookies in wins (10), starts (27), strikeouts (124) and innings (152 1/3) in 2013. The right-hander has allowed three hits or fewer while tossing at least five innings in four of his last five starts.
The Tigers counter with Doug Fister. He had stingy numbers against Oakland before the A’s hammered him for seven runs and 13 hits over five innings at Comerica Park in August. He went winless in last year’s postseason despite 19 1/3 innings of three-run ball.
WagerWeb trends: Tigers are 4-0 in their last 4 during game 4 of a series. Tigers are 5-1 in their last 6 Divisional Playoff home games. Tigers are 5-2 in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Athletics are 2-5 in their last 7 Divisional Playoff road games. Athletics are 3-8 in their last 11 playoff games. Athletics are 2-8 in their last 10 Tuesday games. Athletics are 0-4 in their last 4 playoff road games.