Jim Bowden and Dan Szymborski set the table for the Tigers-Orioles American League Division Series. Bowden lays out which team has the edge among starting pitchers and in the various facets of the game, and then adds his series prediction. Szymborski follows up with the most relevant stats leading into the series and the ZiPS game-by-game projections.
Who has the edge?
Game 1 starters: Chris Tillman versus Max Scherzer. Tillman had the best season of his career and finished strong, going 6-1 with a 2.33 ERA in the second half. This will be his first postseason start . . . Scherzer is the only pitcher in baseball to win at least 15 games with at least 230 strikeouts each of the past three years. His average fastball velocity might have been slightly down this year, but his command of his slider, curveball and changeup was arguably the best of his career. Scherzer has a 3-0 record and 3.42 ERA in nine postseason starts. Edge: Tigers.