After winning another game in thrilling fashion, the Oakland A’s have another chance to extend a winning streak and get revenge.
Justin Verlander, who went 2-0 with an 0.56 ERA against the A’s in the 2012 ALDS, will take the ball against Oakland’s ace, Brett Anderson. Anderson is 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA, and Verlander is 1-1 with a 2.19 ERA. Anderson lost on Opening Day, and the A’s lost their next game. However, since then, Oakland has won nine straight games, and they are looking to win their tenth straight game.
Even though Verlander is taking the hill for the Tigers, that is certainly possible. The pitching has been sharp, and the offense has been stellar as well. Oakland only put up four runs against the Tigers on Friday night, but they had clutch hits and a walk-off home run from Josh Donaldson. The A’s are first in the league with 70 runs, third in batting average (.282) and second in on-base percentage (.356). In addition, the A’s haven’t allowed more than five runs in a game during their winning streak.
Detroit, the 2012 AL champions, is 5-5. The Tigers haven’t benefited much from Verlander during his two starts, as he gave up three runs in seven and one-thirds innings in a loss to the Yankees during his second start. However, Verlander, the 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner, is definitely a dominant pitcher, and the A’s know that from the ALDS.
It will be interesting to see how Verlander will fare against a different A’s lineup. With Yoenis Cespedes on the 15-day DL, the A’s will have four players who didn’t play in the ALDS (Chris Young, John Jaso, Eric Sogard and Andy Parrino) in the lineup. Oakland is rolling and Detroit isn’t, and the momentum is certainly on Oakland’s side. However, in the ALDS, when the momentum was clearly on Oakland’s side, Verlander shut Oakland down and took the Tigers to the ALCS.
Expect a pitchers’ duel, but expect Detroit’s jam-packed lineup to manufacture some runs, and expect the A’s to get a bit going off of Verlander. Prince Fielder, who hit a three-run home run last night to account for Detroit’s only runs, and Miguel Cabrera, the 2012 AL MVP and Triple Crown winner, will threaten Anderson, and Young, Reddick, Moss and Oakland’s lineup will threaten Verlander.
Can the A’s get revenge and extend their winning streak? Find out at 1:05 PM PT, when the first pitch is thrown.