The American League Central champ Detroit Tigers and East winner Baltimore Orioles begin their quest for the Divisional Series title tonight with Game 1 of 5 in Baltimore.
The Orioles will toss the ball to Chris Tillman (R), making his first postseason start as a pro, against Tigers ace and fellow righty Max Scherzer.
— MLB (@MLB) October 2, 2014
ALDS Game 1 Detroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles
When: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2
Where: Camden Yards
Baltimore Run Line: -1 1/2 +150
Detroit Run Line: +1 1/2 -170
Baltimore Money Line: -115
Detroit Run Line: +105
Game Total: 7
Betting on Pitching for Game 1 ALDS
Who is Chris Tillman, the ace of the AL East champs? He went 13-6 with a 3.34 ERA in 207 1/3 innings. The Orioles have won 11 of his last 12 starts.
"He took a big step last year, and I think the big step he took [this year] was that he backed it up again," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said of Tillman. "He pitched 200 innings again. He won (13) games again. How many games has the won the past two years? (29) I think that’s showing consistency. That’s graduating, too."
Showalter has informed his players of his rotation plans after Game 1, but he won’t announce them until after Thursday’s game, the Baltimore Sun reports.
The Detroit Tigers will start this post-season just like last year’s: Max Scherzer in Game 1, Justin Verlander in Game 2.
Detroit Manager Brad Ausmus announced the team’s rotation for its American League Division Series. The aforementioned Scherzer also started Detroit’s post-season opener last year, not long before he was voted the American League’s Cy Young Award winner. The right-hander went 18-5 with a 3.15 earned-run average this season.
"He’s been our best pitcher," Ausmus said.
Scherzer went 18-5, best record in the American League, third in the league in strikeouts. And, if you believe him, he is a better pitcher today than he was last season.
"You never stay the same in sports," he said Tuesday in the Tigers’ clubhouse. "You either get better or you get worse. There’s no in-between. …
"This year I said, ‘I want to come in here and have a better year than I did in 2013. I want to be a better pitcher than I was in 2013.’ "