Scherzer, not Verlander, gets Game 1 nod for Tigers

Detroit, MI ( - Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced his starting rotation for the American League Division Series against the Oakland Athletics, with 21-game winner Max Scherzer getting the Game 1 start for the defending AL champs.

Scherzer gets the nod for Friday's opener over Justin Verlander, who had a down year in 2013.

Scherzer was 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA in 32 starts this season. He led the majors in wins, was second with 240 strikeouts and was fifth in the AL in ERA.

Verlander, who will start Game 2, posted a 13-12 record with a 3.46 ERA and 217 strikeouts in 34 starts.

Anibal Sanchez and Doug Fister round out the four-man rotation.

Sanchez led the AL with a 2.57 ERA while going 14-8 in 29 starts, while Fister went 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA in 32 starts.

Scherzer would get the Game 5 start if necessary.