Tigers Send Verlander To Mound With 2-0 Lead Over Yankees

By: Willie Bee | Monday, October 15, 2012

New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers
MLB Betting Preview
10/16/2012, 8:00 p.m. (ET) TBS
Opening Lines: Tigers -180, O/U 7
(click here for more odds)

Series So Far: The Tigers jumped on the New York Yankees in Games 1 and 2 of the ALCS to take a 2-0 lead back home to Detroit.  Saturday's series opener saw the Tigers blow a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth when Jose Valverde served up a pair of 2-run homers, but Detroit eventually pulled off a 6-4 win in 12 innings.  That 4-run outburst proved to be New York's lone offense in the series so far after Anibal Sanchez and Phil Coke combined on a 4-hit shutout Sunday for a 3-0 victory.  Motown backers cashed underdog tickets at the baseball betting window each contest, getting +120 in Game 1 and +125 in Game 2, while the 'over/under' split the two tilts.

Much has been made about the season-ending injury to Derek Jeter in Saturday's matchup along with the blown call by 2B umpire Jeff Nelson on Sunday.  The real reason why New York was forced to go the 5-game distance in the ALDS vs. Baltimore and finds itself down 2-0 in the ALCS has been the lack of scoring.  The Yankees have plated 20 runs in seven postseason games, and nine of those came in two ninth-inning outbursts (ALDS Game 1 vs. the Orioles, ALCS Game 1 vs. the Tigers).  New York ranked second in the majors during the regular season with 4.96 run per game.

Pitching Matchup: Detroit will have ace Justin Verlander on the hill at Comerica Park for Game 3 while the Yankees turn to Phil Hughes in hopes of climbing back into this series.  Verlander was the difference in the ALDS vs. the Oakland Athletics, winning Games 1 and 5 to push the Tigers into the ALCS.  Last year's AL MVP and Cy Young winner worked 16 innings with 11 strikeouts combined, giving up a solo homer to Coco Crisp leading off the opener before shutting the A's out from that point on.  Verlander faced New York three times during the regular season with the Tigers winning one of those games.  His ledger in the three assignments included 20-1/3 innings total and seven earned runs allowed (3.09 ERA) to go with 22 strikeouts.

Hughes pitched well in his ALDS appearance vs. Baltimore, pitching into the seventh of Game 4 and allowing just one run on a Nate McLouth homer.  He closed the regular season with a 5.19 ERA in six September starts, but the Yanks provided enough offense to win four of those outings.  He split his two regular season assignments vs. the Tigers, both starts coming at Comerica Park while Hughes posted a 3.38 ERA in 13+ innings and limited Detroit hitters to a .235 average.

Odds & Ends: New York won four of the seven regular season games played between the clubs in Detroit, with the 'over' also going 4-3.  Sam Holbrook is slated to call the balls and strikes in Game 2.  He was 19-12 'over' along with three 'pushes' on totals in the regular season.  A cool, humid evening is in the current forecast for Detroit on Tuesday; temps are expected to hover in the mid-to-uppers 50s for most of the game with a 12-15 mph wind from the south (in from right-center towards the 3B on-deck circle).

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