ALDS Game 4 Picks
All four teams in the American League divisional round will take the field tonight for their respective game four bouts, but two teams may be sent home as the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A’s look to advance to the even bigger and bright stage of the American League Championship series. Can the Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers survive their playoff assassination attempts? Here’s who we like on the runline in both ALDS match-ups.
The defending American League champs are on the ropes today and to stave off elimination, they’ll need their bats to wake up and for Doug Fister to be lights out.
Detroit’s pitching was dominant in the first two games – allowing just three runs and three extra base hits – but it gave up three long balls and six runs in game three, even with the AL’s leader in ERA, Anibal Sanchez, getting the start.
The momentum swing doesn’t bode well for the Tigers, considering Fister has been much more inconsistent. Still, he did post a a solid 3.67 ERA during the regular season and pitched even better at home.
Dan Straily will get the ball for Oakland and although that would seem to be better news for the slumbering Tigers hitters, Straily actually has enjoyed success against Detroit this season, as he allowed just one earned run in eight innings in a win over Fister and the Tigers at Comerica Park in late August.
With their backs against the wall, the Tigers may be able to squeak out a victory, but this game should go down to the wire nonetheless. So, look for Oakland to at least cover +1.5 and don’t be surprised if it finishes off the Tigers tonight.
Last night, the Rays once again proved that they can step up to the plate in elimination games, but with Jake Peavy heading to the hill for the Red Sox, tonight could be Tampa’s swan song. Peavy posted a 12-5 record during the regular season and although he doesn’t have a ton of playoff experience, is regarded as one of the best veteran hurlers in the league.
The Rays will counter with young Jeremy Hellickson, who has been reliable for Tampa, but is far from its best starting pitcher. Considering he’ll be up against the best-slugging lineup in baseball, winning game four will be a tall order for the Rays.
Tampa’s had an impressive run, but look for it to end tonight as Boston covers -1.5 in the win.