Justin Verlander AP

ALDS Game 1 lineups: Athletics vs. Tigers


source: AP

Here are the Athletics’ and Tigers’ lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS, which is set to begin around 6 p.m. ET:

1. Coco Crisp, CF                1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Stephen Drew, SS             2. Quintin Berry, LF
3. Yoenis Cespedes, LF         3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Brandon Moss, 1B             4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Josh Reddick, RF              5. Delmon Young, DH
6. Josh Donaldson, 3B          6. Andy Dirks, RF
7. Seth Smith, DH                 7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Derek Norris, C               8. Alex Avila, C
9. Cliff Pennington, 2B        9. Omar Infante, 2B

SP Jarrod Parker, RH       SP Justin Verlander, RH

Bob Melvin is using a pretty standard lineup with right-hander Justin Verlander on the mound, including Brandon Moss at first base and Seth Smith out of the DH spot. The Tigers don’t have any lefties in their playoff rotation, so Chris Carter and Jonny Gomes will mostly be a factor against the bullpen. According to statistician David Feldman, the A’s will be the second team ever to start four rookies in a playoff game. The first was the 2007 Diamondbacks, who were also managed by Melvin. Not surprisingly, the A’s don’t have a ton of experience against Verlander. Coco Crisp is 8-22 (.364) lifetime against him while everyone else in the lineup has 49 at-bats combined.

No big surprises in the Tigers’ lineup, as Quintin Berry and Andy Dirks are in the corner outfield spots while Delmon Young will serve as the designated hitter. This is pretty much the same exact lineup Jim Leyland used over the final couple weeks of the season. Berry is primed to see a lot of at-bats during this series, despite posting a pretty terrible .218/.270/.293 batting line and 38/8 K/BB ratio in 162 plate appearances since the All-Star break. It goes without saying, but Berry and Young aren’t ideal options to have in the first five spots in the batting order. But if Verlander dominates, it might not matter.

Feel free to chat during the game in the comments section.

Tigers agree to deal with starter Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Hey, the hot stove is finally generating some real fire …

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Tigers have agreed to terms on a contract with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. It’s a five-year deal worth around $110 million, per Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

This should have a domino effect on a loaded starting pitching market. David Price, Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, and Jeff Samardzija are just a few of the names still out there.

Zimmermann, 29, posted a 3.66 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 164/39 K/BB ratio in 201 2/3 innings this past season for the Nationals. He had a 2.66 ERA in 2014 and threw a no-hitter on the final day of the regular season.

Zimmermann’s free agency is tied to draft pick compensation because he rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Washington, but the Tigers finished with one of the 10-worst win-loss records in 2015 so their first-round pick in 2016 is protected. Detroit will give up its second-round pick instead.

Video: Statcast’s 10 longest home runs from 2015

Giancarlo Stanton
AP Photo/Joe Skipper

Here’s a pretty good way to finally break out of that turkey-induced Thanksgiving tryptophan coma.

It’s a compilation of the 10 longest home runs from the 2015 season, with MLB.com’s Statcast technology providing data along the path of each blast …

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.