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Tigers try to end Yankees season on Tuesday
By: Nick Bracken - StatFox
Published: 10/4/2011  at  12:49:00 PM
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ALDS Game 4 - Detroit leads series 2-1
First pitch: Tuesday, 8:35 p.m. EDT
Line: New York -110, Detroit +100, Total: 9.5

The Yankees find themselves in a difficult situation, facing the Tigers in an elimination Game 4 at Comerica Park. Detroit won a big Game 3 on Monday night, beating New York 5-4 behind their ace Justin Verlander.

The Yanks will send A.J. Burnett (11-11, 5.15 ERA) to the mound in hopes of extending their season. Burnett will try to use the confidence he may have obtained from the success in his past two road starts where he went 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA and struck out 15 batters in 11.1 innings. On the hill for Detroit will be right-hander Rick Porcello (14-9, 4.75 ERA). Porcello was inconsistent throughout the season, but ended strong with five straight quality starts, going 2-1 with a 3.55 ERA in September. Despite having 98 wins this year, night games have oddly been a problem for the Yankees and Burnett. New York is just 54-54 (-18.6 Units) under the lights, including 8-13 in night games with Burnett as the starter. Burnett has always had trouble on the road in his career, and this season he has a 6.30 ERA and 1.64 WHIP outside of Yankee Stadium. The Yankees put themselves in a rough situation with Burnett on the mound in the biggest game of their season, and consequently DETROIT will finish them off on Tuesday night.

This pair of three-star FoxSheets trends also supports the Tigers.

DETROIT is 79-42 (65.3%, +32.7 Units) against the money line vs. an AL team with a team batting average of .265 or worse this season. The average score was DETROIT 5.1, OPPONENT 4.0 - (Rating = 3*).

Play On - All underdogs with a money line of +100 to +150 (DETROIT) - after having won 2 of their last 3 games, in October games. (42-20 over the last 5 seasons.) (67.7%, +29.9 units. Rating = 3*).

Burnett has not had much success pitching in the postseason, going 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in six starts. He lasted just two innings in the 2009 World Series and allowed a whopping six runs. In his last playoff outing in the 2010 ALCS against Texas, Burnett threw six innings and allowed five runs. The righty may not change his luck against Detroit, considering he has a 6.33 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in eight career starts against the Tigers. Look for Detroit to be patient at the plate with the often-erratic Burnett.

The Yankees hope to get some offense from their sluggers Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira who are a horrid 1-for-21 with 7 K combined in the series. Rodriguez has always been criticized for his playoff struggles and batting .167 with no homers and just five RBI in 12 postseason games in the past two seasons won’t help his case.

Porcello hasn’t pitched well at home this year, going 5-5 with a less-than-solid 5.64 ERA and .302 opponents’ BA. However, Porcello has pitched fantastic in his past two outings at Comerica Park against the Yankees, throwing 14 innings and allowing just two runs. Porcello is just 22 years old and a couple shutout innings early would really calm his nerves.

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