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A capsule look at Tigers-Orioles playoff series

Detroit’s Victor Martinez finished second in the A.L. batting race with a .335 average. (Associated Press)
Detroit’s Victor Martinez finished second in the A.L. batting race with a .335 average. (Associated Press)

Season series: Detroit won 5-1; last met May 14.

Detroit Tigers (90-72): Detroit has made the A.L. Championship Series the last three years, each time winning a decisive Game 5 of the division series on the road. … The Tigers have won four straight A.L. Central titles, but their most recent World Series championship was in 1984. … In Max Scherzer, David Price and Justin Verlander, Detroit has the A.L.’s last three Cy Young Award winners, and the MVPs from the last three years (Verlander and Miguel Cabrera) also play for the Tigers. … Detroit won the division by one game for a second consecutive season. Cleveland finished second in 2013, Kansas City this year. … The Tigers signed J.D. Martinez to a minor league deal in March, and he had a huge offensive year. Victor Martinez also had perhaps the best season of his career.

Baltimore Orioles (96-66): Clinched A.L. East title on Sept. 16 and coasted to finish. Manager Buck Showalter provided his starting position players with ample rest and provided his starters an extra day off between starts. Although Baltimore went 5-6 down the stretch, Showalter deemed keeping the team fresh to be more important than carrying momentum into the postseason. … This is Baltimore’s second postseason appearance since 1997. The last one, in 2012, ended with a loss in five games to New York in the division series after the Orioles beat Texas in the wild-card game. … Although the Orioles led the majors with 211 HRs, their pitching has been a big reason behind their success. All four starters in the playoff rotation reached double figures in wins.

Watch For: The Tigers led the A.L. in on-base percentage despite finishing 10th in walks, so this is a team that has needed to swing the bat well to produce offense. Cabrera is healthier than he was in last year’s postseason, but Detroit hopes the two Martinezes – Victor and J.D. – will provide the same pop they did during the regular season.

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