The Texas Rangers can become the first team to punch their ticket to the World Series on Saturday night at home in Arlington if they can beat the MLB odds against the Detroit Tigers in Game 6 of the ALCS.
The Tigers still look like the walking wounded out there, and the truth of the matter is that it is a miracle that they are still alive in the playoffs. It took a weird carom off of the third base bag at Comerica Park to bring them to this point, as well as a whopping 133 pitches from Justin Verlander to get the job done. At least the reserves in the bullpen are going to be rested, as no one threw a pitch outside of Verlander and Phil Coke. That means that Jose Valverde and Joaquin Benoit should be okay to pitch again after having back to back days off. One of the surprisingly more effective pitchers in the postseason will be on the mound in this one, as Max Scherzer gets the ball from Manager Jim Leyland. The righty pitched well enough in Game 2 to get the win in the ALCS, but his three runs allowed in six innings with six strikeouts just didn't hold up to the heroics of Nelson Cruz, who popped a grand slam to win the game. For the season including the playoffs, Scherzer is 16-9 with a 4.32 ERA.
Pressure has to be mounting for the Rangers right now, as they can't feel good about the fact that they haven't closed these Tigers out. The good news is that they are coming back to Arlington, where they haven't been beaten in a game since Game 1 of the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays. Manager Ron Washington has to feel good about where his club sits. Cruz has five homers and 11 RBIs in this series, but no one else has notched a long ball as of yet. We know that that has to change at some point. What we're afraid of is that Saturday night's pitcher, Derek Holland isn't capable of pulling this one off. It's clear that he is outmatched by Scherzer just by how poorly he pitched when the two faced off in Game 2. Washington made the prudent move to pull his southpaw out of the game after allowing three runs and eight total base runners in just 2.2 innings of work. Scott Feldman had to pitch 4.1 scoreless innings in relief, and the rest of the bullpen just followed suit into extra innings.
Detroit Tigers @ Texas Rangers Game 6 Pick: We know that there really is no justification for it, but Lady Luck finally looks to have come to the Tigers. The city of Detroit just seems blessed this year between the Tigers and the Lions, and we wouldn't be all that shocked if the visitors came all the way back and not just won Game 6, but Game 7 as well.
MLB Pick: Detroit Tigers +140 at Bookmaker Sportsbook.