Oct 15, 2013, 2:26 PM EST
ALCS GAME 3: BOSTON RED SOX AT DETROIT TIGERS
Series: Tied 1-1
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit, MI
Gametime: 4:00 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 65 degrees, wind 11 mph
Starting pitchers: BOS – John Lackey (10-13, 3.52) / DET – Justin Verlander (13-12, 3.46)
After a classic finish to Game 2 in Boston, the ALCS now shifts to Detroit where Justin Verlander will be tasked with regaining momentum for the Tigers. Verlander hasn’t allowed a run yet through two playoff games this October, with 21 strikeouts in 15 innings. Detroit pitchers have carried no-hit bids late into both games so far, and it won’t get any easier with the former MVP taking the ball.
Verlander faced the Red Sox once this season and had trouble with their revamped lineup. On June 23 he allowed four runs through five innings on seven hits in a Tigers’ win in Detroit. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz, in particular, were on that day with three hits apiece.
For whatever reason, Ortiz has a great history against the right-hander. He’s batting .370 through 27 at-bats, with four home runs and two doubles. His OPS vs. Verlander is a ridiculous 1.174.
The Verlander we’ve seen so far in these playoffs, however, is on a completely different level than he was during the regular season. He may need another great performance against a Boston lineup that woke up in a big way on Sunday.
John Lackey will make his second appearance in the playoffs this year after a forgettable start in Game 2 of the ALDS. He coughed up four runs against Tampa Bay on seven hits and three walks, but was bailed out by his teammates in a Red Sox win.
NLCS GAME 4: ST. LOUIS CARDINALS AT L.A. DODGERS
Series: Cardinals lead 2-1
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Gametime: 8:00 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Clear, 70 degrees
Starting pitchers: STL – Lance Lynn (15-10, 3.97) / LAD – Ricky Nolasco (13-11, 3.70)
Despite winning in electrifying fashion last night behind Yasiel Puig’s triple, the Dodgers are still down in the series and will need another strong performance from their lineup to even things up with the Cardinals. They may have a decent opportunity to do so with Lance Lynn on the mound, arguably the Cardinals’ weakest link in terms of starting pitching.
Lynn took the loss in Game 2 of the NLDS against Pittsburgh after giving up five runs in 5 1/3 frames. Pittsburgh jumped out on him early with three runs in the first three innings, exactly the type of start St. Louis would hope to avoid tonight. Lynn has 18 total postseason games under his belt, and an ugly 5.08 ERA along the way.
Lynn was strong in the Cardinals’ Game 1 win against L.A. with two innings of relief. He also pitched six scoreless innings against the Dodgers on May 24 during the regular season. Maybe the matchups will favor him tonight as well.
The Dodgers lineup, however, may be a different animal after breaking out on Monday night. If Puig, Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez play like they did in the 3-0 win, it will be hard for any pitcher to stop them, much less one with a shaky history in the postseason.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
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