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Rangers try to close out ALCS Saturday
By: Nick Bracken - StatFox
Published: 10/15/2011  at  5:04:00 AM
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ALCS Game 6 - Texas leads series 3-2
First pitch: Saturday, 8:05 p.m. EDT
Line: Texas -145, Detroit +135, Total: 9

The Tigers know they have at least nine more innings to play on Saturday night and the Texas Rangers would like it to be their last nine innings. Detroit stayed alive with a 7-5 win in Game 5, but now travels to Arlington for a must-win Game 6.

On the hill for Detroit on Saturday night will be Max Scherzer (15-9, 4.43 ERA in regular season). Scherzer has been successful against the Rangers in his career, going 3-0 with a 3.41 ERA in six outings. Opposing Scherzer will be lefty Derek Holland (16-5, 3.95 ERA in regular season). Holland had a completely unsuccessful outing in Game 2 when he threw just 2.2 innings and allowed three runs and eight base runners, which led to an early hook. Detroit has handled lefties well this year, going 33-24 (58%) against them, but has had their share of problems when playing after a day off, in which they are 5-18 over the past two seasons. The Rangers love to play in Arlington where they are 55-30 (65%) compared to on the road where they are 47-39 (55%). Texas has also excelled at night, going 74-44 (63%), and is 48-19 as a favorite of -125 to -175 this season. All trends point towards TEXAS finishing off feisty Detroit in Game 6.

Some more FoxSheets trends favoring the Rangers include this pair:

Play On - Any team (TEXAS) - in a playoff game, when leading in a playoff series. (59-36 over the last 5 seasons.) (62.1%, +26.3 units. Rating = 2*).

TEXAS is 81-48 (+21.3 Units) against the money line vs. AL teams allowing 4.7 or less runs/game on the season this season. The average score was TEXAS 5.3, OPPONENT 4.1 - (Rating = 2*).

Scherzer pitched decent in his Game 2 start, throwing six innings and allowing three runs on six hits. If Scherzer can pitch like he did on Oct. 2 in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Yankees, the Tigers will be in good shape on Saturday night. In that game, the righty threw six scoreless innings while allowing only two hits and striking out five. Everyone knows Scherzer has good stuff, he just needs to be more consistent night in and night out. The 27-year-old is certainly not as comfortable pitching on the road as he is at home where away from Comerica he has a 5.23 ERA, compared to his 3.80 ERA at home. Regardless of his home or away ERA, the Tigers need Scherzer to bring his best stuff to keep them alive in this series.

Derek Holland came into the postseason scorching hot after going 4-0 with a 2.20 ERA in September. Holland stayed hot his next start against the Rays in the ALDS, throwing five innings and allowing only one run. He also contributed 1.1 shutout innings of relief in Game 4. Game 2 of this ALCS was a different story, where walks and base runners were the reason for the short outing. Holland has had a terrific year and pitching a gem to get his team to the World Series would be a nice story. Holland will have to focus on getting Delmon Young out who is 6-for-12 with two home runs off the young lefty.

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