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Tigers vs. Yankees preview

Game 1: Today, 5:30 p.m., TBS

Detroit (RHP Justin Verlander, 24-5, 2.40) at New York (LHP CC Sabathia, 19-8, 3.00)

Game 2: Saturday, 5:30 p.m., TBS

Detroit (RHP Doug Fister, 8-1, 1.79 with Tigers) at New York (RHP Ivan Nova, 16-4, 3.70)

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Game 3: Monday, 5:30 p.m., TBS

New York (RHP Freddy Garcia, 12-8, 3.62) at Detroit (RHP Max Scherzer 15-9, 4.43)

Game 4: Tuesday, TBA*

New York (Sabathia, 19-8, 3.00) at Detroit (RHP Rick Porcello, 14-9, 4.75)

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Game 5: Thursday, TBA*

Detroit (Justin Verlander, 24-5, 2.40) at New York (Nova, 16-4, 3.70)

*-if necessary | All times PDT

Projected lineups

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Pos. / DETROIT / Avg. / HR / RBI

CF / Austin Jackson / .249 / 10 / 45

RF / Magglio Ordonez / .255 / 5 / 32

LF / Delmon Young / .268 / 12 / 64

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1B / Miguel Cabrera / .344 / 30 / 105

DH / Victor Martinez / .330 / 12 / 103

C / Alex Avila / .295 / 19 / 82

SS /Jhonny Peralta / .299 / 21 / 86

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2B / Ryan Raburn / .256 / 14 / 49

3B / Brandon Inge / .197 / 3 / 23

::

Pos. / NEW YORK / AVG. / HR / RBI

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SS / Derek Jeter / .297 / 6 / 61

CF / Curtis Granderson / .262 / 41 / 119

1B / Mark Teixeira / .248 / 39 / 111

3B / Alex Rodriguez / .276 / 16 / 62

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2B / Robinson Cano / .302 / 28 / 118

RF / Nick Swisher / .260 / 23 / 85

DH / Jorge Posada / .235 / 14 / 44

C / Russell Martin / .237 / 18 / 65

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LF / Brett Gardner / .259 / 7 / 36

Keys to the series

Anyone who through thought the division series would be a cakewalk for the Yankees could be in for a big surprise. Although New York finished with the league’s best record, the Tigers have actually closed stronger, winning 30 of their final 39 games. And Detroit figures to have 24-game winner Justin Verlander on the mound twice in the series if it needs him. But the Tigers’ talent runs much deeper than Verlander. Led by league batting champion Miguel Cabrera, Detroit had two players finish in the top four in the AL in hitting and the bullpen is anchored by Jose Valverde, who converted all 49 of his save opportunities. The Yankees, on the other hand, are short on pitching and will use opening game starter CC Sabathia on short rest in Game 4. However, Sabathia hasn’t beaten the Tigers this year and has just two wins over them since 2008. Even the Yankees’ offense has hit the skids, batting a season-low .239 in September, a month in which MVP candidate Curtis Granderson hit only .205 with nine extra-base hits. And cleanup hitter Alex Rodriguez is hitting .191 since Aug. 1.


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