Detroit Tigers are A’s biggest concern, as they should be – Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press
Yes, the A’s have the Tigers in their heads. It’s comparable to the Indiana-Miami battles in the NBA over the past two seasons. It didn’t matter if the Pacers excelled against the Heat in the regular season or earned the higher playoff seeding. If they still couldn’t beat them when it mattered most, then they’re forever branded the hungry pursuer left starving.
Justin Verlander stated he thought the A’s made the trade for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel with the Tigers in mind. Oakland’s players literally laughed this off (according to one of their beat writers), but they missed the point. Verlander was not trying to be cocky, he was stating a fact. The Tigers have ended the Athletics postseason hopes in the last three postseasons they’ve participated in. Tell me that the Tigers aren’t in Oakland’s minds.
Detroit Tigers’ second-half goal should be home field – John Lowe, Free Press
The Tigers have played six AL playoff series in these past three years, and in none have they had home-field advantage. In all three years, they won the decisive Game 5 of the opening series on the road against one of the other division champions. The first came by a run at Yankee Stadium, and the next two came as Justin Verlander pitched shutout ball in Oakland.
Every team wants home field advantage in the postseason, no doubt. But the Tigers appear more comfortable on the road than at home this season for some reason. They just seem looser away from Comerica Park, where they have played very, very well since becoming contenders in 2006. Since 2006, they’ve gone 6-3 in playoff series without home field and 0-1 when they’ve had it (2006 World Series).
Detroit Tigers’ Drew VerHagen Could Become Valuable Trade Chip – Brad Faber, Rant Sports
Detroit Tigers pitching prospect Drew VerHagen made his major league debut in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians. The 6-foot-6, 230 pound right-hander went five innings, allowing five hits, three earned runs, three walks and recording four strikeouts.
I am not so sure that VerHagen’s start on Saturday was because the Tigers were showcasing him. He fit a need the Tigers had and the other spot starter from this season, Robbie Ray has struggled a bit in Toledo. Still, VerHagen’s name, along with AA slugger Stephen Moya, figure to have their names coming up prominently in any trade talks the Tigers are having or will have.