Red Sox 1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF: After going 9-for-18 against the Rays in the AL Division Series, Ellsbury is still looking for his first hit of the AL Championship Series, though he has drawn two walks. 2. Shane Victorino, RF: Victorino has been hit by five pitches in six postseason games. He's 0-for-6 in his career off Justin Verlander. 3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B: Pedroia was 2-for-4 with the Red Sox's first RBI of the ALCS on Sunday night, though he's just 1-for-18 off Verlander. 4. David Ortiz, DH: Ortiz hit the game-tying grand slam on Sunday for his 15th postseason home run. He's also had tremendous success against Verlander, with two homers, four doubles and a .370 average in 27 at-bats. 5. Mike Napoli, 1B: After moving to the bench for Mike Carp in Game 2, Napoli returns to the lineup looking to improve on his .118 average this postseason. He's 7-for-23 with a home run off Verlander. 6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C: Saltalamacchia's first RBI since Game 1 of the ALDS was a big one, as it drove in the game-winning run on Sunday night. The switch-hitter has swung much better from the left side of the plate, though he's just 2-for-15 with eight strikeouts off Verlander. 7. Jonny Gomes, LF: Despite an 0-for-9 history against Verlander, the right-handed Gomes got the nod in left field ahead of the switch-hitting Daniel Nava. Manager John Farrell cited the "intangibles" from Gomes, though Verlander has also had much more success against left-handed batters this year due to a heavy reliance on his changeup. 8. Stephen Drew, SS: Drew has 10 strikeouts in 15 at-bats against Verlander and is hitless in his last 14 at-bats this postseason. 9. Will Middlebrooks, 3B: After a 3-for-15 postseason start, Middlebrooks again got the nod in Game 2 and rewarded the Red Sox with a key double that began the eighth-inning rally in Sunday's 6-5 win. John Lackey, P: Lackey completed a strong regular season just one year removed from Tommy John surgery. He held the Tigers to two runs in seven innings in his only start at Comerica Park this season.
Tigers 1. Austin Jackson, CF: The Tigers continue to start Jackson, despite the fact that he's gone 3-for-30 with 16 strikeouts this postseason. Last postseason, though, Jackson hit .280 with a .828 OPS. He's 3-for-8 off Lackey. 2. Torii Hunter, RF: Hunter returns to the lineup two days after diving head-first over the right-field wall and into the Red Sox bullpen at Fenway Park. Hunter was on the ground for a moment but stayed in the game. He's hit .232 in 56 at-bats against Lackey. 3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B: Despite appearing to hobble around the basepaths at times, Cabrera has one hit in each game this postseason. He has 12 home runs in 10 playoff series. 4. Prince Fielder, 1B: Fielder recorded his first extra-base hit of the postseason Sunday when he cranked a double at Fenway Park. The cleanup hitter is 4-for-9 with two doubles off Lackey. 5. Victor Martinez, DH: All signs point to another good game from V-Mart: He's hitting .407 in the playoffs, .379 off Lackey and .308 in his career against the Red Sox. 6. Jhonny Peralta, SS: Peralta moves back to shortstop in place of Jose Iglesias. Peralta is 12-for-32 since returning from a 50-game suspension related to the Biogenisis scandal and has hit .355 off Lackey. 7. Alex Avila, C: Avila entered Game 2 with a .158 average this postseason and responded with a 2-for-3 performance, including a two-run homer. He's hitless in nine plate appearances against Lackey. 8. Omar Infante, 2B: The sturdy second baseman has yet to find his groove this postseason, as he's gone 5-for-25 with a .499 OPS. 9. Andy Dirks, LF: Dirks gets the nod in left field with Peralta moving back to shortstop. The 27-year-old is making his second start of the postseason despite an 0-for-3 performance in Game 1 of the ALDS, because manager Jim Leyland believes he's ready to break out. Verlander, P: After going through a rough patch during the regular season, Verlander is peaking at the right time. He's thrown 28 consecutive scoreless innings, including 15 innings of six-hit ball with 21 strikeouts to two walks in the postseason.