At the same time, as much as I'd love to see this team get home field advantage, Verlander really does scare the crap out of me. No part of me wants to see the Sox face that guy twice in a best of five series. Not that I think the team should "strategically" bow out of the division race, but I think that the chance of this team going the distance via the wild card is a lot closer to the chance they could go to the distance after entering as the 1 seed than it is in a typical year. Los Angeles could sweep us and make this point moot, but I do think the prospects of taking a game in Anaheim and then two in Boston are favorable - possibly moreso than winning three against Detroit.
I don't like judging a team on its past history with us, and this year we have owned the Tigers. They have a weak offense as it is and against playoff pitching they probably would not match up well at all. I think the Sox could outlast the Tigers in a pitching duel featuring Verlander at Fenway in Game 1, whether it is against Beckett or Lester. After that the series should be gravy. They're struggling to hold off the Twins right now.
Edit: Verlander really is magnificent, his 128th pitch against the Twins registered at 101mph.
Edited by bosox188, 20 September 2009 - 10:12 PM.