at NEW YORK YANKEES
American League Championship Series Game 2 - Detroit leads series 1-0
First pitch: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EDT
Line: New York -130, Detroit +120, Total: 8
After playing their third extra-inning game in four days, the weary Yankees will try to even their ALCS with Detroit on Sunday afternoon without starting shortstop Derek Jeter.
Jeter broke his ankle trying to field a ground ball in the 12th and final inning of a 6-4 loss in Game 1 on Saturday. Detroit led 4-0 after eight innings, but closer Jose Valverde allowed two homers as part of New York's four-run frame to tie the score. Valverde has now allowed 7 ER in 1.1 IP in his past two outings. Sunday's Game 2 will feature a pair of hot right-handers in Anibal Sanchez and Hiroki Kuroda. Sanchez has thrown three straight quality starts (1.25 ERA) while Kuroda has a 2.35 ERA during two consecutive quality outings. However, these hurlers have had quite a different outcome when facing each other's team this year. While Sanchez was rocked in his lone outing versus New York (3 IP, 7 H, 7 ER), Kuroda has thrown quality starts both times he's faced Detroit in 2012, posting a 3.38 ERA, 9 K's and just one walk in 13.1 innings. The Tigers have been a subpar road team (40-45 record, 4.1 runs per game), while the Yankees are 53-32 (.624) with 4.9 runs per game at Yankee Stadium this year. Even with Jeter out, the pick here is NEW YORK to ride Kuroda to a series-evening win.
This two-star FoxSheets trend also backs the Yankees:
Play On - Home teams (N.Y. YANKEES) - with a good bullpen that converts on 75%+ of their save opportunities against opponent with a starting pitcher whose ERA is 4.20 or better on the season (AL). (412-278 over the last 5 seasons.) (59.7%, +88.4 units. Rating = 2*).
Sanchez (9-14, 3.83 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) has been strong on the road this season, posting a 3.26 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, but going 4-7 (team is 6-11). His past three starts have all been great, as he's 1-1 with a 1.25 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. In his playoff debut in Game 3 of the ALDS, Sanchez was the hard-luck loser, allowing just two runs on five hits in 6.1 innings of a 2-0 defeat. He has averaged just 6.1 innings per start this season, but considering his team needed five relievers on Saturday, Sanchez will be counted on to last at least seven innings against a struggling New York lineup batting .216 with 3.3 runs per game in the 2012 playoffs. Although Valverde has been atrocious, the rest of Detroit's bullpen has been strong this postseason, allowing just two runs with nine strikeouts in 11.1 innings.
Kuroda (16-11, 3.28 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) has been outstanding in his home ballpark this year, going 11-6 with a 2.69 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 20 starts. The last of these outings came in Game 3 of the ALDS when he held the Orioles to just two runs on five hits in 8.1 innings. That improved his postseason career stats to 2-1, 4.09 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. With the amount of innings the bullpen has worked in the past four days, Kuroda will be expected to give the team at least seven good innings. He's averaged exactly 7.0 innings per start at Yankee Stadium this year, and has completed at least six frames in each of his three career starts versus Detroit, posting a 3.72 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.