ALDS GAME 4: OAKLAND ATHLETICS (2-1) vs. DETROIT TIGERS (1-2)
Series: Athletics lead 2-1
Where: Comerica Park, Detrioit, MI
Gametime: 5:00 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Sunny, 65 degrees, wind 7 mph
Starting pitchers: OAK – Dan Straily (10-8, 3.96) / DET – Doug Fister (14-9, 3.67)
Yesterday I laid out all the reasons the odds were in Detroit’s favor in Game 3, they were home with the AL’s ERA champion on the mound and Jarrod Parker had a terrible finish to the season. Lo and behold, Anibal Sanchez folded and the Athletics marched to victory behind a barrage of three home runs.
Now the Tigers find themselves on the brink of elimination with veteran Doug Fister set to pitch. They are still at home, but the Athletics have won two straight and their lineup is clicking.
Luckily for the Tigers, Fister has been excellent in the postseason over the years, holding a 2.97 ERA through six games, a span of 36 1/3 innings. He beat Oakland in last year’s playoffs as well, throwing seven innings of two-run ball in the 2012 ALDS.
Dan Straily, on the other hand, has never pitched in the playoffs. The 24-year-old rookie held a 3.96 ERA this year in his first full season in the majors. He faced the Tigers recently – on Aug. 28 in Detroit – and took the win after allowing just one run through six innings.
Once again the pitching matchups and home field advantage should favor the Tigers, but as we’ve learned over the last few days – and from years of watching playoff baseball – these games tend to be a tad unpredictable.