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Red Sox face Tigers for American League Crown

The Boston Red Sox will host the Detroit Tigers in games One and Two of the American League Championship Series. The Sox earned their way into the ALCS on Tuesday after downing the Tampa Bay Rays in four games. They waited until late Thursday to see who their opponent would be and found out that it would be the defending A.L. Champion Tigers who beat the Oakland A’s 3-0 behind their ace Justin Verlander.

Experience is huge in these playoffs as we have seen in the division series. The Tigers have been to the World Series twice since 2006 and they beat the A’s in two elimination games. The A’s have had a horrible time in trying to close out a series since the turn of the century. Oakland is 1-13 in series clinching games in their last 14.

The Red Sox have won two World Series titles since 2004 and they beat the Rays who have lost for the third straight post season series. It seems that the teams who have been there before clearly have the advantage over those who do not.

The same thing seems to hold true in the national League where the St. Louis Cardinals advanced to the NLCS after downing the Pittsburgh Pirates in two straight elimination games as well. Also the Los Angeles Dodgers, with not much playoff experience, beat the Atlanta Braves who have tons of it. But like the A’s, most of Atlanta’s post season history is negative.

So with that in mind, who do we like in the ALCS? The Tigers have done well in ALCS past. It is the World Series where they seem to have a tough time. The Sox however, seem to do well in both. They did lost the ALCS in 2008, their last appearance, in seven games to the Rays.

A case could be made for either team in this series. Both have excellent starting pitching. The Sox can run Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey and Jake Peavy out there and shut a team down. But the Tigers can counter with Verlander, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez and Doug Fister. Both have explosive offenses as well. The Tigers have the best hitter in the game in Miguel Cabrera. In 2012, he won the first Triple Crown since 1967 and was in the running for another one this year.

The Sox counter with Big Papi, David Ortiz, who seems to get better with age. Both have terrific supporting casts as well. The Tigers have Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter and former Sox players Victor Martinez and Julio Iglesias. The Sox have Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jonny Gomes.

So who will win this series and represent the American League in the World Series?  This is a tough pick, but we are going to go with the Red Sox in seven games. They have just a little bit more pitching than do the Tigers and they also have the home field in a seventh game.

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