The last two times the Detroit Tigers went to the World Series their road through the playoffs took them to Oakland. For the second year in a row one of the ALDS series is the Oakland A's versus the Detroit Tigers. This series begins in Oakland tonight, October 4, 2013. Last year it took the Tigers five games to beat the A's. The only won one game in Oakland, the deciding game five. In 2006 the Tigers rolled to a four game sweep o the A's in the ALCS capped off by the most famous home run of this generation hit by Magglio Ordonez at Comerica Park.
Every year is a new year, and every post season we start anew. With that being said though, the Tigers were 3-4 against the A's in 2013. However they have played well in Oakland and Justin Verlander has always looked very sharp against them. He has the ability to shut the A's down. With that being said here are a few things to watch for as this series begins tonight:
- The Tigers offense- far too often the tigers offense goes ice cold. Even though we are talking about a lineup that features 5 hitters batting better than .300 for 2013.They tend to feed off each other and it all starts with Austin Jackson and/or Torii Hunter. They become more important with an ailing Miguel Cabrera. The A's shut the Tigers out in a playoff game last year and we all remember what happened in the World Series a year ago.
- The Starting Pitching- The Tigers starters have got to be sharp, they have got to go deep into games, and they have to take some pressure off the bullpen and in some ways off the offense as well. The starting rotation has to be as good as they have been if not better.
- Stolen bases- The Tigers ranked last and the A's ranked just 11th in the AL in stolen bases but we have seen teams get on base and then run putting pressure on the Tigers staff. That is a very viable way to beat the them and one has to wonder if Coco Crisp is waiting for a chance to do just that.