The Detroit Tigers defeated the Oakland Athletics in five games in the 2012 ALDS, and the two teams will go at it again this year. The series opens on Friday, when Bartolo Colon faces Cy Young favorite Max Scherzer. Oakland once again has home-field advantage, but this time that means the series will actually start in Oakland -- last year's playoff schedule was tweaked to fit in the Wild Card play-in games, and the series kicked off with two games in Detroit.
After a brief stint on the DL in mid-August, Colon returned to finish the season on a positive note. In his final six starts, he allowed just five earned runs in 36 innings (1.25 ERA) while striking out 34 batters against only four walks. The team won five of those six starts, and Colon recorded the "W" in four of them.
Scherzer capped off his incredible regular season with seven shutout innings against the Minnesota Twins. He allowed six runs (five earned) in five innings against the A's on Aug. 29, but was bailed out when Oakland closer Grant Balfour allowed a walk-off home run to Torii Hunter.
Yoenis Cespedes' status was uncertain heading into this game, but it appears as if his sore shoulder is healthy enough for him to play in left field. Eric Sogard is 3-for-5 in his career against Scherzer with a pair of doubles.
#Tigers lineup: Jackson 8, Hunter 9. Cabrera 5, Fielder 3, Martinez DH, Avila 2, Infante 4, Dirks 7, Iglesias 6. Scherzer gets the ball.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) October 4, 2013
Detroit will hope that five days off helped Miguel Cabrera inch closer to 100 percent. He hit only one home run in September as he battled injuries to his groin, hip and abdominal muscles. Prince Fielder batted .337/.396/.537 in September to help pick up the slack.