Detroit at Oakland Game 5

All that’s left is game 5 of the ALDS(American League Division Series) to see who goes on to face the Boston Redsox in the ALCS(American League Championship Series). The series has been a good one so far as Detroit won the 1st game 3-2, Oakland won the 2nd game 1-0, Oakland won the 3rd game 6-3 and on the brink of elimination Detroit won the 4th game to keep their playoff hopes alive 8-6.

Detroit will turn to veteran an 2011 CY Young winner Justin Verlander. Verlander pitched very well in game 2 holding Oakland scoreless over 7 innings allowing 4 hits and striking out 11. Oakland will turn to rookie Sonny Gray who matched wits with Verlander in game 2 as Gray allowed no runs in 8 innings. He gave up 4 hits, walked 2 and stuck out 9. Gray has been pitching very well since being called up on July 10th. In 12 games (10 starts) he has a record of 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA in 64 innings pitched and has 67 strikeouts this season.

 

X Factors

Detroit:                                               Oakland:
Miguel Cabrera                                   Josh Donaldson
Torii Hunter                                         Jed Lowrie

For Detroit Miguel Cabrera has 4 hits in 16 at-bats(.250) and has only 1 RBI. Torii Hunter has 2 hits in 14 at-bats(.143) with 2 runs scored but no RBIs. If Detroit wants a better chance at winning the game and series it needs these 2 guys to step up and have a big game.

For Oakland Josh Donaldson has 3 hits in 17 at-bats(.176) and no RBIs so far in this series. Jed Lowrie has 2 hits in 16 at-bats(.125) with 1 home run and 1 RBI. To increase their chances of winning Oakland needs these two guys to step up and play a big part in helping this team win.

 

Keys To The Game

For Detroit

1. Can they get to Sonny Gray? In his first ever career postseason start Sonny Gray pitched 8 shutout innings against Detroit. So can Detroit’s hitters get to Sonny.

2. Can Detroit’s big hitters break out of their slumps? Detroit’s top hitters(Cabrera, Hunter, Fielder) have gone a combined 10 hits in 45 at-bats. Detroit could really uses a big game from all three.

3. Can Justin Verlander dominate Oakland again? He pitched very well against Oakland in the 2nd game of this series. Can he do it again?

 

For Oakland

1. Get Justin Verlander out early. Verlander has pitched 18 innings this season against Oakland(including playoffs). He has given up 6 runs (4 earned) on 11 hits, 7 walks and has struck out 20. His worst game against Oakland was when he pitched 5 innings gave up 5 runs(3 earned) on 4 hits, walked 3 and struck out 3.

2. Can it be Sonny in Oakland? Sonny Gray would like to continue his success so far this season and would like to help his team advance in the playoffs. So can it be Sonny in Oakland.

3. Get your big hitters going. Oakland’s main power hitter(Donaldson, Reddick,Cespedes) have a combined 13 hits in 50 at-bats with 2 home runs. Oakland could really use these guys to having a big game.

 

My Prediction 

It’s another pitching duel as Justin Verlander goes 7 2/3 innings giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and striking out 8. On the other side Sonny Gray goes 7 innings giving up 1 run on 4 hits and striking out 6. In the top of the 8th Torii Hunter breaks out of his slump hitting a home run to tie the game at 2. But in the bottom of the 8th with runners on 2nd and 3rd Yoenis Cespedes hits a 2 RBI single to take the lead late in the game. With that Oakland’s closer Grant Balfour comes in and shuts the door allowing Oakland to advance to the ALCS.

Final Score

Oakland: 4
Detroit: 2

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