Detroit Tigers Set ALCS Pitching Rotation

Tigers manager Jim Leyland has announced his ALCS rotation, for the first four games anyway, and we can fill in the blanks for the other games:

1. Justin Verlander
2. Rick Porcello
3. Doug Fister
4. Max Scherzer
5. Verlander
6. Porcello
7. Fister

Verlander's in his accustomed spot, but Fister and Scherzer were pushed back a spot because both pitched in Game 5 against the Yankees. This isn't a big problem, but all things being equal you'd probably rather have Scherzer starting twice instead of Porcello. The latter is a ground-ball pitcher, which theoretically will play well in Texas, while Scherzer's Game 4 start will come in spacious Comerica Park.

Also, Scherzer should be available out of the bullpen in Game 6 or 7.

With all four Tigers starters being right-handed, we'll probably see a lot of Rangers outfielder David Murphy and first baseman Mitch Moreland, both of whom struggle against lefty pitchers but fare well enough against righties.

Update: Okay, forget some of that. Leyland's changed his mind, is flip-flopping Porcello and Scherzer. This probably makes sense, overall-talent-wise. But Scherzer might be challenged to keep the ball in the ballpark.

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