Here’s how the pitching matchups look:
Game 1, Tigers @ A’s: Bartolo Colon vs. Max Scherzer
Game 2, Tigers @ A’s: Sonny Gray vs. Justin Verlander
Game 3, A’s @ Tigers: Anibal Sanchez vs. Jarrod Parker
Game 4 (if necessary), A’s @ Tigers: Doug Fister vs. Dan Straily
Game 5 (if necessary), Tigers @ A’s: TBA
The Game 1 matchup should not be a surprise; Colon and Scherzer have arguably been two of the best pitchers in baseball this season. Colon won 18 games with an ERA of 2.65, while Scherzer led the league with 21 wins. These are the aces of the respective pitching staffs, so look for a low-scoring affair.
Gray, the rookie, will draw the task of facing Verlander, who had an off year by his standards this season. Gray was 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA during the regular season, but the playoffs are an entirely different animal.
Game 3 features Sanchez, the AL’s ERA leader with a 2.57 ERA during the regular season, and Parker, who struggled during his last few starts to wrap up a strong season.
Fister and Straily wrap up the respective rotations, both of them sporting double-digit wins and ERAs below 4.00.
It should be noted that A.J. Griffin is not in the A’s rotation because he has discomfort in his arm.