September 20, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Stephen Drew (5) at bat against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

2012 ALDS: Previewing And Predicting Oakland's First Playoff Game Against the Tigers

Oakland wasn’t expected to be here, and the Tigers had to rally to get here. However, both teams made it to the ALDS.

Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers prepare to battle Jarrod Parker, Yoenis Cespedes and the A’s in Game 1 of the ALDS, hosted at Comerica Park, home of the Tigers. Verlander, the 2011 AL Cy Young winner and MVP award winner, takes the ball for the Tigers as he looks to eat up innings, bring the high heat and mow down the A’s.

And Parker? He just wants to feast on overaggressive hitters, keep his pitch count down and give the A’s the early edge in the series. He’s done it all season, as you can see from his 13 wins and 3.47 ERA. Parker dominated in September and October, posting a 2.63 ERA in his last six starts and winning his last four decisions.

Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown for the Tigers, and he and Prince Fielder, who put up a .412 OBP, seek to guide the Tigers to a win and eventually to the ALDS. Cespedes, who has lots of power and hit .292 this year, and Josh Reddick, owner of 32 home runs and 14 outfield assists, are trying to prevent that.

If the A’s can get the early lead, this game will be tough to win for Detroit. Sean Doolittle, Ryan Cook and Grant Balfour have locked down the late innings for Oakland, and Balfour, who has a nasty slider and a fastball topping out around 98 mph, has been lights-out lately. Cook is decent, and Doolittle is nearly un-hittable against lefties.

The A’s are certainly trying to bring some lefties to the plate against Verlander, who is a righty. Here is Oakland’s lineup.

1. Coco Crisp, CF

2. Stephen Drew, SS

3. Yoenis Cespedes, LF

4. Brandon Moss, 1B

5. Josh Reddick, RF

6. Josh Donaldson, 3B

7. Seth Smith, DH

8. Derek Norris, C

9. Cliff Pennington, 2B

Now for the Tigers:

1. Austin Jackson, CF

2. Quintin Berry, LF

3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B

4. Prince Fielder, 1B

5. Delmon Young, DH

6. Andy Dirks, RF

7. Jhonny Peralta, SS

8. Alex Avila, C

9. Omar Infante, 2B

For more in-depth analysis of this series and game, check this out. If not, just tune into TBS at 3:07 PM PT and watch Verlander and Parker battle. I’m predicting a win for the Tigers, as the A’s look to work things out in their first playoff game since 2006. However, I think Oakland will win this series.


Tags: Detroit Tigers Jarrod Parker Justin Verlander Oakland Athletics Yoenis Cespedes

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