DET @ TEX
Justin Verlander vs. C.J. Wilson
Maybe Leyland knew something we didn't when he decided to hold Verlander back in game Game 5 against the Yankees. He probably did and now he gets to use him without reservation in game one of the ALCS, which would allow Verlander to pitch on short rest Wednesday in Detroit if the Tigers are facing elimination - and Thursday at the latest. CJ Wilson, of course, is no slouch either. This was an All Star season for the converted closer, who threw 223.1 innings with a sub-3.00 ERA. He's a free agent after this season and, depending on whether CC Sabathia opts out, stands to be the cream of the free agent crop. He's likely to be courted by a who's who of teams with big pockets.
Any guesses on the deal he'll get? And who's going to win the privilege of overpaying? He's been a starter for two seasons (Age 29 and 30) and performed significantly better over that period than John Lackey did at age 29 and 30 with the Angels. Lackey signed a 5yr/$80M contract with the Red Sox after his Age 30 season.