Ross has caught six of Lester's eight starts this season. The left-hander is 4-2 with a 2.45 ERA when Ross is behind the plate compared to 0-2 and 3.86 ERA when Pierzynski is behind the dish.
Farrell expected Friday's contest to be a low scoring affair with Lester going against right-hander Max Scherzer.
"If this game goes the way we would project between two very good starters, it will be a low run game," Farrell said. "We are trying to preserve the battery between the two."
Farrell said it was a particularly difficult decision to make because of Pierzynski's success against Scherzer. He's hitting .333 (11-for-33) with one home run and seven RBIs.
"It is just noticing that over the past year or more that David and Jon have paired up and executed a game plan," Farrell said. "It has been consistent. We are looking to preserve that."
Ross caught Lester in both of his starts against the Tigers in last year's American League Championship Series. Lester allowed just three runs in 11 2/3 innings in those games.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.