This is exactly the series I had hoped for. Nobody who respects themselves wanted the Yankees to advance, and while it wouldn't have really bothered me to see the Rays get in I can also safely say that Detroit versus Texas is my preferred matchup.
In the ALDS, I did pick the Rays to top the Rangers in five. We all know how that went. I also picked the Tigers to beat the Yankees in four, and hey...at least I got the winning team correct. For the Championship Series on the AL side I'm going to pick the Tigers again, in a full seven games. It's a hard call though, and ultimately I'm only picking the Tigers because if Justin Verlander goes just twice I have to believe those games go to Detroit.
Tigers: Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, Rick Porcello
Rangers: C.J. Wilson, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison
Verlander and Wilson are both aces, although Verlander is without a doubt one of the best three pitchers in all of baseball. Fister has pitched like an ace down the stretch, and there's certainly nothing wrong with guys like Holland, Lewis and Scherzer. Once we get back to Porcello and Harrison the quality drops off a little bit, so if one of these teams is facing elimination in game four I have no doubt they'll put their ace back on the hill.
Tigers: Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit, Al Alburquerque, Phil Coke, Daniel Schlereth, Brad Penny, Ryan Perry
Rangers: Neftali Feliz, Mike Adams, Koji Uehara, Darren Oliver, Yoshinori Tateyama, Scott Feldman, Michael Gonzalez, Alex Ogando
This is where this series is going to be won and lost, as far as I'm concerned. Both teams have enough pitching, it's just going to depend on which team pitches as they're capable of pitching. The Tigers have a formidable back end, but with the additions of Adams and Uehara Texas is tough at the end of the game, too.
If Detroit and Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta can get to the Rangers, they'll win. If Texas and Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre and Michael Young can get to that Tiger 'pen, they'll win. It seems such an obvious thing to say, but hey...I'm no expert on either of these teams.
All I know is: they're both really good.