Both teams lead their respective divisions. Both have issues at the end of games. Yes, the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers -- two of the American League's foremost contenders in 2013 -- are undergoing a closer shuffle, with Andrew Bailey on Thursday blowing his second straight save (in a 4-3 loss to Detroit) and Detroit's Jose Valverde struggling to keep hold of manager Jim Leyland's confidence.

Both the Boston and Detroit managers have ordered change. Is this a good decision? Will these ninth-inning problems put either team's playoff hopes in jeopardy?


Red alert?

Andrew Bailey has eight saves, with a 4.03 ERA and four HR allowed in his past five appearances.

SportsNation

Who should close for the Red Sox?

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    34%
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    66%

Discuss (Total votes: 14,622)


Movement in Motor City?

He's a longtime closer, but Jose Valverde's numbers don't inspire confidence. So Jim Leyland is moving to Joaquin Benoit.

SportsNation

Who should close for the Tigers?

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    29%
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    37%
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    34%

Discuss (Total votes: 31,082)


Stressing out

There's little more stressful than a struggling closer -- except, perhaps, a shaky kicker.

SportsNation

Which is more stressful for fans?

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    45%
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    55%

Discuss (Total votes: 64,948)


Postseason in peril?

Boston is one game up in a tougher division, but sports a 44-31 record. Detroit, meanwhile, is four games up with its 40-31 mark.

SportsNation

Which team has the bigger chance of missing the playoffs?

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    68%
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    32%

Discuss (Total votes: 3,364)

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