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Tigers set ALDS rotation: Justin Verlander gets the ball in Game 1

The Tigers announced their American League Division Series rotation schedule this morning. No real surprises appeared.

Game 1: Justin Verlander

Game 2: Doug Fister

Game 3: Anibal Sanchez

Game 4*: Max Scherzer

Game 5*: Justin Verlander

*if necessary

To me, there's no real surprises here. You knew Verlander would get the ball in Game 1. Doug Fister has been one of Detroit's best starters when healthy, and he recently set an American League record for consecutive strikeouts (9).

Some may be surprised about the order of starters for the third and fourth games. I think what it comes down to is that Sanchez is healthy and Scherzer might benefit from a few days more of rest. Sanchez, since mid-August, has been a productive member of the rotation. He has allowed more than two runs just twice in his last eight starts, and he recently earned a shutout. Scherzer, meanwhile, needed to take some time after a reported deltoid issue, then hurt his ankle during the team's celebration for clinching the AL Central title. Sure, he started on Wednesday and appeared to do fine. But at this point, you just feel a bit more comfortable with Sanchez.