Post-season Gameday Thread, #16: Crunch day

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Could be a pivotal day in both the Championship series, as the Red Sox battle the Tigers in Detroit for the AL edge, while the Dodgers try to even things up at home against the Cardinals.

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John Lackey
RHP, 10-13, 3.52
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Justin Verlander
RHP, 13-12, 3.46

1pm Arizona time, Fox. Series level 1-1
The Tigers must be reeling, after a devastating ninth-inning loss in Boston on Sunday, set up by David Ortiz's grand-slam in the previous frame. That cost Max Scherzer a much-deserved victory, but if you want a stopper, there are few better than the Verlander who showed up in the Division Series, blanking the A's for 15 innings on six hits, with a K:BB ratio of 21:2. Lackey wasn't great in his only post-season start, allowing four runs in 5.1 innings against the Rays ten days ago, so if both starters are at the level of performance last seen, it's got to be advantage to Detroit. But momentum certainly swung Boston's way in the last two innings at Fenway, so will that carry over?

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Lance Lynn
RHP, 15-10, 3.97
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Ricky Nolasco
RHP, 13-11, 3.70

5pm Arizona time, TBS. Cardinals lead 2-1
Ace wins have been hard to come by in this series, with Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright all coming up empty. Lynn got the Game 1 win in relief, but Nolasco will be making his first career post-season appearance, having been skipped in the Division Series. He hasn't pitched since Sep 29. It has definitely been a series so far where pitching has dominated: the two sides have scored a total of nine runs in three games, but that's mostly an absence of clutch. STL and LAD have respectable team OPSs of .733 and .722, but have combined to hit .167 (6-for-36) with runners in scoring position.

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