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Tigers vs. Athletics ALDS 2013: 5 Bold Predictions

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Tigers vs. Athletics ALDS 2013: 5 Bold Predictions

Rick Osentoski- USA TODAY Sports

The upcoming series between the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics promises to be one of the more intriguing matchups in the divisional round of the postseason. Both teams have had overperformers and both teams have had players who have played below their potential, yet still managed to find their way here. The two teams matched up in a crazy five-game series last year, and it would not be surprising if both teams needed to go to Oakland for another five-game set this year.

It's hard to exactly pinpoint exactly what will happen when these two meet, but I have come up with five bold predictions that challenge the way things have worked for the majority of this season. I expect a few players who have not had the best of years to come up big, while a few players who have had big years will come back down to earth a bit. There always seems to be an unsung hero that no one saw coming, and I am sure this series will have one.

So here are my five bold predictions for this playoff series. Each of these predictions could have the potential to completely turn the series in a team's favor or work against them. Every little piece counts in October, and all it takes is one player to catch fire to carry a team further in its quest for a World Series championship. What will be those moments? Find out with these predictions.

Brent Smith is a Detroit Tigers writer for Follow him on Twitter @brentweets or add him to your network on Google

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5. Don Kelly Will Play

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You can say there is no room for Don Kelly to find his way into the lineup, but you would be wrong. Jim Leyland always finds room for Don Kelly. Always.

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4. Grant Balfour Will Blow A Save

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Grant Balfour had another great season, but he showed a little bit of vulnerability in the second half that was uncharacteristic of him. I look for Balfour to blow a save in this series, which could sway momentum in this short five-game set.

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3. Torii Hunter Will Be The First To Hit A Home Run

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Torii Hunter hit his first home run as a Detroit Tigers player against the Oakland A's earlier this season, and just seems to have a knack to hit in Oakland. Look for him to be the first Tigers player to hit a home run in this series.

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2. Josh Reddick Will Break Out

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To say Josh Reddick struggled this season would be an understatement. Hitting just .226, it has been a long season for Reddick, but he seems to feast off Tigers pitching and will right his ship this series.

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1. Prince Fielder Will Come Through

Steve Mitchell- USA TODAY Sports

Prince Fielder has also disappointed this season, though not as badly as Josh Reddick. Prince Fielder is going to have huge at-bats in this series and will come through when he gets those chances.