DETROIT TIGERS (90-74)
at OAKLAND A’S (94-70)
American League Division Series – Detroit leads series 2-0
First pitch: Tuesday, 9:05 p.m. EDT
Line: Oakland -130, Detroit +120, Total: 7
Detroit will look to advance to the ALCS with a sweep over Oakland on Tuesday night.
Southpaw Brett Anderson takes the mound for the A’s, looking for a strong finish to a season in which he dominated in his limited action. Missing much of the year with Tommy John Surgery—and not having pitched since Sept. 19 with an oblique injury—Anderson registered just six starts on the season, but compiled a 4-2 record, 2.57 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. At home, he had a 1.38 ERA and 0.77 WHIP in two starts, winning both of those outings. He faces Anibal Sanchez, amid a season in which he logged a 9-13 record, 3.86 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. Sanchez’s lone career start against the A’s came in September when he gave up six runs (five earned) in 5.2 innings, a 12-4 Oakland victory at O.co Coliseum. That fits in line with the A’s dominance at home, where they compiled a 49-30 (.620) record this season, the third-best mark in the majors. Play on OAKLAND to survive another day in this series as they return to those friendly home confines.
These rare four-star FoxSheets trends also favor the A’s.
OAKLAND is 39-18 (68.4%, +27.6 Units) against the money line with a hot bullpen whose WHIP is under 1.000 the last 5 games this season. The average score was OAKLAND 5.2, OPPONENT 3.5 - (Rating = 4*).
OAKLAND is 57-28 (67.1%, +33.5 Units) against the money line in the second half of the season this season. The average score was OAKLAND 5.0, OPPONENT 3.8 - (Rating = 4*).
The Tigers are 6-3 so far this season against the A’s, but went 2-2 in Oakland. Sanchez enters this game amid a hot streak, finishing the regular season off with a 2.57 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 22 K’s in 21 IP over his final three starts, one of which as a nine-inning, three-hit shutout. He averages 6.3 innings per start, but Detroit might want him to pitch as deep into this game as possible. The Tigers own subpar bullpen numbers on the road with a 4.32 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, compiling a terrible 7-14 record away from home this season.
Anderson’s oblique injury came against the Tigers, a start in which he did not make it out of the third inning because of the ailment. Prior to that, however, he had pitched well against the Tigers, allowing just one run on seven hits in 11 innings in his previous two starts against them, a big step up from the nine runs (3 ER) in 3.1 IP he allowed the first time he faced Detroit in May of 2009. Although Anderson may not be able to pitch deep into this game coming off an injury and averaging just 5.8 innings per start this year, he is backed by one of baseball’s best bullpens. Oakland relievers have a 2.95 ERA and 1.17 WHIP, figures that drop to 2.68 and 1.12, respectively, at home. At O.co Coliseum, the bullpen has an incredible 20-3 record. Take them as slight home favorites.