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Previewing The American League Championship Series

A team which figured to get this far takes on a team that surprised in the first round as the defending American League champion Texas Rangers take on the Detroit Tigers in the AL Championship Series, beginning Saturday night at 8:05 ET in Arlington, Texas.

The Rangers dispatched the Tampa Bay Rays in four games to move on, while the Tigers took out the New York Yankees in five games to reach the ALCS for the first time since 2006 -- when Detroit made it all the way to the World Series before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals, who will open the National League Championship Series tomorrow against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Detroit won the season series against Texas this year 6-3, taking two-of-three in all three series vs. the Rangers, but since Texas won one more game overall than Detroit did, the Rangers will have the home field advantage in this series and will play the first two games -- then games five and seven if necessary -- in the friendly confines.

Here is the series breakdown via Yahoo! Sports.

A key piece of the Tigers' puzzle will be missing with the loss of outfielder Delmon Young. Young hurt his oblique in the series against the Yankees and will be replaced on the Tigers' roster for this series by Danny Worth, while Ryan Rayburn will take over Young's spot in left field.

'Bless You Boys' has all the coverage of the Tigers from a Detroit perspective, while on the Texas' side coverage comes from 'Lone Star Ball'.

Whether you have a particular rooting interest or not (maybe you want the team from the Indians' division to go to the World Series, and maybe you want the exact opposite), I hope that you will find much to enjoy in the next 4-7 games in the American League.

After that, look for a more comprehensive World Series preview.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.