Red Sox will need to beat Cy Young favorite to tie series
Game 1 featured one team's ace and the other team's number three pitcher, so naturally the home team won the game with their ace on the mound right? Not so much! The Tigers number three, Anibal Sanchez (the AL ERA leader) went on to throw six no-hit innings striking out twelve. He actually tied a record striking out four in one inning (one batter reached base on a passed ball).
Detroit's bullpen went on to absolutely dominate the Red Sox striking out five more batters and surrendering just one hit. After all was said and done Anibal Sanchez, Al Albuquerque, Jose Veras, Drew Smyly and Joaquin Benoit allowed only a ninth inning bloop single to Sox outfielder Daniel Nava. The strong Boston lineup, that crushed the very good Tampa Bay Rays team, did not have an answer. They drew six walks, but whenever they were threatening to score a Tiger pitcher would come up with a huge strikeout.
The Tigers meanwhile had nine hits, but only managed to score one run, leaving 12 runners on base. Jhonny Peralta, who recently re-entered the lineup after a fifty-game drug-related suspension, was the offensive hero for the Tigers going 3-4 with an RBI single.
On deck: Scherzer and Verlander
It was a huge, huge victory on hostile territory for the Tigers as they can now try to increase the series lead with their two best pitchers scheduled to start Games 2 and 3. Both teams will need to try to make their adjustments at the plate. While the Tigers need to find a way to get hits with runners in scoring position, the Red Sox need to find a way to get hits, period.
A lineup featuring Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Big Papi and Shane Victorino should be able to at least get a few hits. And we all know that if you string a few hits together in Fenway Park, crazy things can happen. The only problem is, they will have to figure out how to get hits against two of the hottest and best pitchers in the league. They might find themselves in a big hole if they don't. Of course, the Red Sox are the only team in professional sports to have ever come back from a 3-0 deficit, but the Yankees did not have the pitching the Tigers have this year.
Game 2 pitching matchup
Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (21-3, 2.90 ERA)
This is one of the best pitching matchups you could wish for if you're a fan of low scoring games and pitching duels. If you're betting on this one, you could definitely bet on the under for total runs scored. Buchholz, aside from the time he missed because of an injury, has been awesome this year. However, somehow he's been better on the road than in home games. He has not faced Detroit this season and gave up three runs in six innings for a no decision against the Rays in the Division Series.
The Tigers are sending Scherzer to the mound. He has been their ace for the better part of the season, before Verlander returned to form in the last month. Scherzer led the league in wins and came in second in strikeouts. He picked up two wins last week in the ALDS. He won Game 1 as a starter and pitched two innings in relief in Game 4 to pick up his second win. In 9 innings he allowed three runs on six hits and struck out 13.
Expect a lot of strikeouts in tonight's game as both pitchers combine to strike out 18 batters per game on average.
Even though this year's most likely Cy Young Award winner is on the mound for the Tigers, the Red Sox are listed as favorites (-128). I would definitely say it is worth a shot to gamble on the Tigers in this one as you'll earn 118 dollars for every 100 you bet.
Let's see how the Red Sox deal with the pressure of falling to 0-2 and facing Verlander in Detroit in Game 3. It should be another good one. Enjoy!