In the big picture, the Texas Rangers do not match up well with the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series. In nine regular-season meetings, Tigers batters hit .317 off Texas pitching while the team's staff posted a 3.71 ERA.

Oh, and Detroit won six of the nine games; the same ratio will get the Tigers to the 2011 World Series.

The big picture, however, does not always tell the whole story. So let's check out the position-by-position insets for insights on the ALCS, which begins Saturday in Arlington.

CATCHER

Tigers
Alex Avila: .295, 19 HR, 82 RBIs
Omir Santos: .227, 0 HR, 0 RBIs

Avila had a breakout All-Star season after batting just .228 as a rookie last year, earning his spot in the middle portion of a potent lineup. Santos figures to be used on defense if Avila has to leave for a late-game pinch-runner. Victor Martinez is still listed as a catcher, but hasn't been behind the plate since Aug. 4.

Rangers
Mike Napoli: .320, 30 HR, 75 RBIs
Yorvit Torrealba: .273, 7 HR, 37 RBIs

Napoli has made balls disappear over walls all season and has become such a vital weapon he finally made even Torrealba disappear in the Division Series, becoming a mainstay behind the plate against any-side pitching. Including the ALDS, the Rangers are 36-10 when Napoli drives in a run.

EDGE: Rangers

FIRST BASE

Tigers
Miguel Cabrera: .344, 30 HR, 105 RBIs
Don Kelly: .245, 7 HR, 28 RBIs

Cabrera overcame well-publicized preseason personal distractions to slug his way to an AL batting title while putting up typical power numbers (fifth straight 30-100 season). He recognized that having Martinez behind him would lead pitchers to try working around him and has been patient enough to draw 108 walks, for a .448 on-base percentage, also tops in the Majors.

Rangers
Mitch Moreland: .259, 16 HR, 51 RBIs

Moreland is off to a quiet postseason start (1-for-10, the hit being a home run) after starring last October with a .348 average. Will be a big weapon for Texas against Detroit's all-righty rotation. Fifteen of Moreland's homers came off right-handers.

EDGE: Tigers

SECOND BASE

Tigers
Ramon Santiago: .260, 5 HR, 30 RBIs
Ryan Raburn: .256, 14 HR, 49 RBIs

It's been a revolving door for the Tigers at second base this season. Santiago was the fifth player given a regular shot at the position, and his solid glove and strong arm have been a big asset. It's not his specialty, but he even came up with a couple of clutch hits in the ALDS.

Rangers
Ian Kinsler: .255, 32 HR, 77 RBIs

With his second 30-30 season in the books, Kinsler's game includes the element of speed. The 29-year-old is again hitting for power -- after hitting nine homers in an injury-riddled 2010 season. Kinsler is always a threat to grab early momentum for Texas with a leadoff homer.

EDGE: Rangers

THIRD BASE

Tigers
Wilson Betemit: .292, 5 HR, 19 RBIs
Brandon Inge: .197, 3 HR, 23 RBIs
Don Kelly: .245, 7 HR, 28 RBIs

Third base has been another inconsistent position for the Tigers this season. In July, the club even sent Detroit favorite Inge to Triple-A and traded for Betemit to replace him. Betemit may have lost manager Jim Leyland's confidence with some terrible at-bats in Game 4 of the ALDS; Kelly got the start in the decisive Game 5.

Rangers
Adrian Beltre: .296, 32 HR, 105 RBIs

Beltre came into the postseason on fire -- 12 homers in his last 16 games -- and turned up the heat on the Rays, finishing them off with his three homers in Game 4 of the ALDS. And he fields his position like a .180 hitter who has to earn his keep with the glove.

EDGE: Rangers

SHORTSTOP

Tigers
Jhonny Peralta: .299, 21 HR, 86 RBIs
Ramon Santiago: .260, 5 HR, 30 RBIs

In the ALDS, Peralta gave no hint of what had been a career year for him. He led all AL shortstops in OPS, hit a career-high .299 and popped 21 homers. He had a quiet (4-for-18, one RBI) series against the Yankees. His ALCS experience is good: He homered twice and drive in eight runs for the Indians in 2007 against Boston.

Rangers
Elvis Andrus: .279, 5 HR, 60 RBIs

Andrus really shined in the playoffs last season, particularly in the first two rounds, so there is no need to conclude from his ALDS (2-for-14) that the youngster can't handle postseason heat. Even if he continues to slump, his glove will keep him as a difference-maker. The Rangers will need his disruptive speed on the bases.

EDGE: Rangers

OUTFIELD

Tigers
Delmon Young: .274, 8 HR, 32 RBIs
Austin Jackson: .249, 10 HR, 45 RBIs
Magglio Ordonez: .255, 5 HR, 32 RBIs
Ryan Raburn: .256, 14 HR, 49 RBIs
Andy Dirks: .251, 7 HR, 28 RBIs

The Tigers made a savvy waiver-wire pickup in adding Young in August. He continued to be a big contributor in the ALDS, but the Tigers will have to hold their breaths over whether an oblique strain will prevent him from playing. Jackson endured the dreaded sophomore slump but has the potential to influence any game with his speed in the field and on the bases. Ordonez is trying to turn back the clock and got off to a good start (5-for-11) in the ALDS.

Rangers
Josh Hamilton: .298, 25 HR, 94 RBIs
Endy Chavez: .301, 5 HR, 27 RBIs
Nelson Cruz: .263, 29 HR, 87 RBIs
David Murphy: .275, 11 HR, 46 RBIs

Texas survived the ALDS with no long balls and only two RBIs -- both by Hamilton -- from this outfield, but they won't be as dispensable this time around. Cruz is still searching for his swing since missing the first half of September with a strained left hamstring; upon returning, he hit one homer his last 49 at-bats, then went 1-for-15 in the ALDS.

EDGE: Rangers

DESIGNATED HITTER

Tigers
Victor Martinez: .330, 12 HR, 103 RBIs

Martinez used to platoon between first and catcher and now platoons between only the left- and right-side batter's boxes, but he is the rarity who had no trouble transitioning to full-time DH duty. The lineup protection he's afforded Cabrera has been a tremendous asset, making the middle of the Tigers' lineup as fearsome as any.

Rangers
Michael Young: .338, 11 HR, 106 RBIs

Young's role changed dramatically with Beltre's arrival, but not so his production. Unlike Martinez, he remains likely to pop up anywhere on the field -- first, third, second. But hitting has always been his best position.

EDGE: Tigers

STARTING PITCHERS

Tigers
Justin Verlander: 24-5, 2.40 ERA, 250 Ks
Doug Fister: 11-13, 2.83 ERA, 146 Ks (8-1, 1.79 ERA, 57 Ks with Detroit)
Max Scherzer: 15-9, 4.43 ERA, 174 Ks
Rick Porcello: 14-9, 4.75 ERA, 104 Ks

As Fister again showed in the decisive Game 5 of the ALDS, this is no longer a one-man show starring Verlander. Verlander still has the lead, but Fister and Scherzer make up quite a supporting cast. Prior to Fister's July 31 acquisition from Seattle, the Tigers' No. 5 starters had a cumulative record of 4-17. Scherzer may be more volatile but is awfully tough with his best stuff.

Rangers
C.J. Wilson: 16-7, 2.94 ERA, 206 Ks
Derek Holland: 16-5, 3.95 ERA, 162 Ks
Colby Lewis: 14-10, 4.40 ERA, 169 Ks
Matt Harrison: 14-9, 3.39 ERA, 126

C.L. is still around to pitch the Rangers deep into the postseason. Not Cliff Lee, but Colby Lewis has been just as good in October (4-0, 1.67). Better rotation depth, but all but Wilson got beat up pretty well by the Tigers in regular-season play, the three others combining for an ERA of 10.38.

EDGE: Tigers

MIDDLE RELIEVERS

Tigers
Joaquin Benoit: 4-3, 2.95 ERA, 66 G
Phil Coke: 3-9, 4.47 ERA, 48 G
Al Alburquerque: 6-1, 1.87 ERA, 41 G
Daniel Schlereth: 2-2, 3.49 ERA, 49 G
Ryan Perry: 2-0, 5.35 ERA, 36 G
Brad Penny: 11-11, 5.30, 31 starts

The Tigers' controversial addition of Benoit, signing the free agent to a rich three-year deal, paid big-time dividends in the ALDS. It took Benoit a while, but he settled in to become an eighth-inning force. Alburquerque became a question mark when he suffered a concussion in August and the erstwhile seventh-inning weapon is an even bigger unknown off his ALDS woes (three runs, while getting only one out in two appearances).

Rangers
Alexi Ogando: 13-8, 3.51 ERA, 31 G (29 starts)
Darren Oliver: 5-5, 2.29 ERA, 61 G
Mike Adams: 5-4, 1.47 ERA, 75 G (2-3, 2.10 ERA, 27 G with Texas)
Koji Uehara: 2-3, 2.35 ERA, 65 G (1-2, 4.00 ERA, 22 G with Texas)
Mike Gonzalez: 2-2, 4.39 ERA, 56 (0-0, 5.14 ERA, 7 G with Texas)

This area was general manager Jon Daniels' biggest in-season project, and he aced it by adding Adams, Uehara and Gonzalez. Both teams have displaced starters in the bullpen, but while the Tigers have Penny, Texas had Ogando, who in the ALDS got back in relief mode as if getting back on a bicycle.

EDGE: Rangers

CLOSER

Tigers
Jose Valverde: 2-4, 2.24 ERA, 49 saves

Broadway Jose Valverde backed up his post-Game 2 boast that the ALDS was over, and has extended his regular-season perfection in 49 save opportunities through two more. His exaggerated celebratory displays are either a source of entertainment or a cause of scorn, depending on perspective.

Rangers
Neftali Feliz: 2-3, 2.74, 32 saves

In midseason, team president and CEO Nolan Ryan bemoaned the fact Feliz did not appear to be pitching with any sense of urgency, occasionally letting trouble get out of hand. You want urgency, you want the postseason: He saved each of Texas' ALDS wins, building on a strong regular-season finish.

EDGE: Tigers

BENCH

Tigers
Brandon Inge: .197, 3 HR, 23 RBIs
Don Kelly: .245, 7 HR, 28 RBIs
Ryan Raburn: .256, 14 HR, 49 RBIs
Andy Dirks: .251, 7 HR, 28 RBIs

On some days, this isn't even a bench but part of the Tigers'; starting lineup. Leyland used five different combinations in the five ALDS games, a testament to the versatility available when these guys don't start. Losing Brennan Boesch for the season and having Carlos Guillen unavailable with a calf injury undoubtedly does hurt the Tigers' depth.

Rangers
Esteban German: .455, 1 HR, 4 RBIs
Matt Treanor: .214, 3 HR, 22 RBIs
Craig Gentry: .271, 1 HR, 13 RBIs
Endy Chavez: .301, 5 HR, 27 RBIs
Yorvit Torrealba: .273, 7 HR, 37 RBIs

The Rangers have rocks at most of their positions but make full use of the flexible ones: Moreland, Napoli and even Young can pop up at first base, and when they want an extra bat against lefty pitchers, Torrealba squats behind the plate. When he's not starting, Gentry is a safe bet to enter late if Texas has a lead.

EDGE: Rangers

COACHES

Tigers
Manager: Jim Leyland
Hitting coach: Lloyd McClendon
Pitching coach: Jeff Jones
Third-base coach: Gene Lamont
First-base coach: Tom Brookens

Leyland's successful lineup juggling against the Yankees once again validated his reputation as one of the game's most savvy skippers. The Tigers' eventual AL Central runaway earned him an extension through 2012. He has three Manager of the Year Awards, is in the postseason for the seventh time, but still has only one ring -- earned with the 1997 Marlins.

Rangers
Manager: Ron Washington
Bench coach: Jackie Moore
Hitting coach: Scott Coolbaugh
Pitching coach: Mike Maddux
Third-base coach: Dave Anderson
First-base coach: Gary Pettis

Washington is the kind of manager players like having with them in the trenches. He is a master motivator, expressing his beliefs with a confidence that becomes contagious. Knowledge of his players' tools and ticks enables him to consistently place them in situations that give them a good chance to succeed.

EDGE: Tigers

FANS

Tigers: Loyal and hungry fan base that's been waiting 27 years for a title.

Rangers: Enthusiastic, have reacted passionately to team's success.

Don't count out what the Tigers bring to the table, though. Even in hard economic times, Tigers fans have been fiercely loyal, and the quest to end the long title drought brings an energy all its own.

That other outfit may still bill itself as "America's Team," but when October rolls around the Rangers now are "Dallas-Fort Worth's Team." No area loves a winner like this one, reflected in its rank in some surveys as the nation's best sports town. However, Rangers crowds can't intimidate like those in Motown.

EDGE: Tigers