Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees
The Detroit Tigers should take another step closer to the World Series with a third-straight American League Championship Series win against the New York Yankees. With the exception of Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez, the Yankees are simply not swinging the bat well. (You could have added Derek Jeter to the list of useful Yanks on offence, but he’s now shelved with a broken ankle.) Perhaps against a middling pitcher, talented hitters like Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira could turn the corner, but they’ll have to face Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander in this one. The right-hander is a dominant force and also happens to be in form as evidenced by his first two starts in these playoffs: he’s 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA and twenty-two strikeouts in sixteen innings.
So in order for New York to win, they’ll need a dominant performance from their starter, Phil Hughes. To Hughes’ credit, he did pitch well in the American League Divisional Series against the Baltimore Orioles (6 2/3 innings with one run allowed), but the Tigers have a deeper line-up; they’re even getting offensive production from players who are typically middling contributors like Jhonny Peralta and Delmon Young. Go with the Tigers at 1.50, instead of New York at 2.60.