Behind the scenes here at Bless You Boys, we have access to all sorts of things, including various fortune tellers, palm readers, oracles, and wizards. Unfortunately, we forgot to pay that particular department this year, so they all quit, which means you're stuck with our best guesses.
I've got the Tigers winning in four games. Their starting rotation is stronger, and their big bats in the heart of the order are going to fare even better at Camden Yards than the Orioles' bats will. Oddly, it will be either Scherzer or Price who will pitch the one loss the Tigers suffer.
Orioles in four. I do not believe the Tigers are consistent enough to get the job done.
Tigers in four games. Despite Nelson Cruz's history of terrorizing Detroit in the playoffs, he will be kept relatively quiet in this series. The lone game the Tigers lose will be the one Verlander starts. JV will throw well, but Joe Nathan will blow the save and lose the game. Porcello will give up four or five runs in game four, but the offense is going to explode for him. J.D. Martinez is going to be this year's Delmon Young in October.
Tigers in five with a blown late lead in the fourth game, thereby sending them to the fifth game.
Phil Coke's Brain
Tigers in three. Detroit has a sizable edge, talent-wise, in starting pitching in every game. Baltimore is ultra-homer reliant and righty heavy. If the Tigers keep the ball in the yard the O's don't have many other arrows in the quiver to score runs. They don't hit for average, they don't walk, they don't steal. They mash homers. Stop that, you stop them.
Tigers in four. The O's pitching will make mistakes at home and the bats will be held off by the starters. Game 2 will be a dumpster fire with the bullpen giving up seven runs.
Tigers in five. The Orioles are better than anyone will give them credit for this week. Their offense is legit and can put up runs in a hurry, while their defense will keep an underrated pitching staff in more games than Tigers fans suspect. They will win at least one game due to their superior bullpen, and one of the Tigers' aces will falter at some point. Still, it's tough to bet against the idea of Max Scherzer or Justin Verlander in a decisive Game 5.
Tigers in four, but it'll feel like a sweep. The Orioles will steal a game they don't deserve to win, and the Tigers wins will be much more convincing. The only Orioles home run will come off the bat of Markakis.
Tigers in five. They'll win the first two on the road, but won't get the third win at home in Game 3 or 4. They'll win big in Game 5.
I'll take the Orioles in four games. Baltimore has an underrated rotation and more than enough offense, even with the absence of Chris Davis and Manny Machado. As we witnessed last season, good as the Tigers' starting pitching can be, they'll only go as far as their bullpen and offense will take them. I just don't trust the Tigers' bullpen (or Brad Ausmus' use of it), and I fear the offense will go into one of those frustrating funks which will cost the team dearly.
Tigers in three. If I know one thing, it's that once the playoffs start, anything can happen. Aside from Adam Jones, no one on the Orioles scares me. Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and J.D. Martinez will ride their hot Septembers into October, and the starters will go deep enough into games to make the bullpen a minor factor.
Tigers in three. The Tigers should be favored in any given game because of an advantage in the starting rotation. I like the Tigers lineup against the O's starting pitchers in that park. Expect multiple home runs from the Tigers. A big key is the Tigers holding the Orioles' league leading home run brigade in check. Cruz, Jones, and Pearce have to be kept in the yard. The O's big advantage in the bullpen can be negated by proper use of Sanchez and Soria in the late innings.
Baltimore in five. This season has been 162 games of annoyance and distrust.
Tigers in five. Anibal is a huge addition to the bullpen, which will become surprisingly effective in the playoffs. Nelson Cruz and Victor will both have a huge series for their respective teams, but all bats will be quieted in a good old fashioned pitching duel in Game 5. Tigers win 1-0.
I will take Tigers in five too.
Now it's your turn! Make your prediction in the poll below!