Keys to the Game: Tigers Vs. Yankees, ALDS Game 1, September 30, 2011

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The Yankees finished the regular season with the best record in the AL, but are in for a tough ALDS against the AL Central Champion, Detroit Tigers. Both clubs hit a bit of a skid to end the season with Detroit dropping their last five games and the Yankees losing four in a row. The post-season will start the same way as the regular season, as Justin Verlander will square off against C.C. Sabathia. Perennial Cy Young favorite and AL pitching Triple Crown winner, Justin Verlander (24-5, 2.40 ERA), won 12 starts in a row before recording a no-decision in his last outing of the season. However, Verlander twice failed to defeat the Yankees in his two starts against the Bombers this season, while recording a 4.50 ERA. Similarly Yankees’ ace, C.C. Sabathia (19-8, 3.00 ERA) failed to record a win against Detroit this season and had a 4.15 ERA in two starts. Compare how Verlander and Sabathia have pitched this season based on their Earned Runs allowed per week.

Click for much further insight on Verlander and Sabathia.

The Tigers have a fantastic duo at the plate with AL Batting Champion Miguel Cabrera, who batted .344 with 105 RBIs, and Victor Martinez, who knocked in 102 Runs and batted .330. The Yankees scored an incredible 867 Runs this season and lead the league with 222 Home Runs. The Yankees’ Curtis Granderson lead the Majors with 41 Home Runs and lead the AL with 119 RBIs. The Yankees also had two other 100 RBIs hitters as Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira knocked in 118 and 111 RBIs respectively. Compare tonight’s starting lineup for Detroit and New York.

DET: RBIs (Blue), Runs Scored (Orange) & Total Bases (Green)


NYY: RBIs (Blue), Runs Scored (Orange) & Total Bases (Green)

The Tigers won the regular 4-3 and have arguably the best pitcher in the game. The Yankees do have the best closer of all time in Mariano Rivera, so New York will have a edge in the final frame if the game is close.

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