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Detroit vs Boston ALCS Preview and Prediction

The American League Championship Series starts Saturday and promises to be an exciting and intriguing matchup between the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox.

The two clubs are storied franchises with large and loyal fan bases that have huge expectations. Both clubs have played many times during October.

When the series is complete, the two teams will have combined to win five of the past 10 pennants in the American League. During that period, Boston has gone on to win two World Series, while the Tigers did not win any.

The ALCS will be loaded with big named stars including Miguel Cabrera, Torii Hunter and Prince Fielder for the Tigers and David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia for the Red Sox.

On the mound there are will be stars such as Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez for Detroit, and Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester and John Lackey for Boston.

Detroit’s manager Jim Leyland has managed 3,499 games during the regular season in his career, the 14th most in MLB. He has managed three different teams in the World Series, with one title.

John Farrell the Boston manager is in his first year in Boston and just third as a manager in the Majors.

The matchup will be tough to pick. Boston is coming in rested and healthier and has their pitching rotation better aligned. Lester will start Game 1, with Lackey or Buchholz taking Game 2 and the other Game 3.

Detroit comes in banged up with Cabrera nursing a pair of injuries. The Tigers pitching rotation will be off since Verlander pitched Game 5 of the ALDS on Thursday he will not pitch again until Game 3.

However, the Detroit pitching staff is so deep it is not a big break for Boston. In Game 1, Sanchez will get the start and he had the best ERA in the American League at 2.57.

Game 2 will be Scherzer who with his 21 wins this season and 240 strikeouts is almost assured of the Cy Young Award for the AL.

Both teams have huge offenses. Boston led all of baseball in runs scored finishing ahead of second place Detroit. As for pitching, the Tigers finished third in ERA and Boston sixth.

Sanchez has not pitched versus Boston since 2006 while with the Miami Marlins. Lester pitched twice this season against Detroit and won both games.

Boston relies on its setup men on offense Shane Victorino and Jacob Ellsbury to get on and score runs. During the four game series against Tampa Bay, the two reached bases 20 times and scored nine runs. They have speed, are aggressive and with the pressure they both put on pitchers on the base paths, it makes it easier for Ortiz and Pedroia to deliver.

Offensively Detroit has had a tough time the last third of the season with Cabrera injured.

Pick: Boston in six

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