All Things Baseball

Five Reasons Why the Tigers Will Win the World Series

Two weeks from now Tigers fans will be celebrating

As the 2006 MLB season enters its final weeks, one thing has become apparent to me.  The Detroit Tigers are far and away baseball’s best team this season, and they’re much better than their potential World Series opponents, the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals.  The Tigers are in prime position to pounce on their first World Series championship since 1984.  Here’s 5 reasons why they will — if they continue to execute — win the World Series, potentially with ease. 

#5: Time off.  Do not discount the potential positive effects a break can have

The Mets and Cards are hard at work while the Tigers can just enjoy the view

While the Cardinals and Mets are busy battling for the National League pennant, the Tigers are relaxing and waiting for their prey to come to Detroit on Saturday.  With the NLCS tied 2-2 and Game 5 postponed until Tuesday, the series likely won’t be over until Wednesday at the earliest, and with the battle St. Louis and New York are engaged in, it could be a classic 7-game series that doesn’t end until Thursday, leaving the winner with just one day off.  To be sure, the Tigers aren’t spending their week off enjoying the Detroit Skyline 24/7; Manager Jim Leyland has them working hard to prepare for the upcoming challenge of facing the NL’s champion.  Still, Detroit will come in with a lot more rest than its NL opponent, and that could prove to be an important advantage during the World Series. 

#4: Defense.  It’s the most underrated aspect of baseball, but it counts

Curtis Granderson leads a very sure-handed Tigers defense

The Tigers don’t make many highlight-reel plays in the infield or outfield, but they get the job done at every position.  Curtis Granderson has great range in centerfield and his corner outfielders, Magglio Ordonez and Craig Monroe/Marcus Thames are no joke with the glove and the arm either.  In the infield, Carlos Guillen has proven a solid replacement 1B, and Sean Casey (when he returns), Placido Polanco, Neifi Perez, Omar Infante, and Brandon Inge all play their positions well.  Overall, the Tigers have a solid defense supporting their pitchers.  Both the Mets’ and Cardinals’ defenses have holes.  For the Mets, Jose Valentin is a major liability (though he’s fielded 2B well in the playoffs), and the arm strength of the Mets’ outfielders often leaves a little to be desired.  The Cardinals are very good in the field, but Ronnie Belliard, Juan Encarnacion, and even Albert Pujols are sometimes prone to miscues.  The Tigers don’t have a huge advantage with the gloves, but Detroit does have a defensive edge over the Mets and Redbirds. 

#3: Hitting.  Power throughout gives the MoTown offense plenty of mojo

Magglio Ordonez leads an underrated Detroit lineup

From #1 (Curtis Granderson — 19HR) to #9 (Brandon Inge — 27HR) and every spot in the lineup in-between, the Tigers have a hitter who can blast the ball out of the park, but who also knows how to come through when it matters.  The Tigers lineup is by no means the lineup of a powerhouse such as the Yankees, but Detroit has plenty of pop in the bats to score a plethora of runs.  The Mets lineup is no joke either, with sluggers like Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, and David Wright, but the power trio did little in interleague play this season, and two of the three (excluding Delgado) have had little to no success against American League pitching.  The same is true of the Cardinals lineup, which sports baseball’s best hitter in Albert Pujols.  The Mets and Cards just don’t have the 1-to-9 production that the Tigers bring to the table, and that’ll cost them in the World Series. 

#2: Pitching.  The Tigers arms are the best in baseball this year…by a mile

Justin Verlander and the Tigers pitching staff is amazingly good

Find me a better starting rotation than Kenny Rogers, Justin Verlander, Nate Robertson, Jeremy Bonderman.  Give up — you should — because there’s no better starting pitching staff than Detroit’s.  Find me a better bullpen than Todd Jones, Joel Zumaya, Fernando Rodney, and Jamie Walker.  Still thinking?  You might as well stop because you won’t find one.  The Tigers pitching staff is much better than any in baseball this season, and it will pay huge dividends in the World Series.  The Mets starting quartet of Glavine-Maine-Trachsel-Perez doesn’t come close; not even with Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez in the mix.  The Cardinals rotation of Carpenter-Weaver-Reyes-Suppan is closer, but still miles away.  In the bullpen, neither the Mets nor the Cardinals can boast a relief corps nearly as effective and consistent as that of the Tigers.  Pitching wins, so the Tigers should win. 

#1: Cinderella Effect.  Don’t discredit it. 

The last few World Series winners have all been Cinderella teams

We all know the “Cinderella” effect in sports is a myth, but somehow the unexpected winners almost always come up big.  Look at the last few World Series winners — the White Sox ended a curse in 2005, the Red Sox broke another in 2004, the Florida Marlins upset the Yankees in 2003, the Anaheim Angels used a monkey to win in 2002, and the Diamondbacks upset the Yankees in 2001.  That means every Champion of the 21st century has been a Cinderella team…scary, no?  The Tigers are this year’s Cinderella story; a team that came out of nowhere to become an American League powerhouse and had the best record in baseball for the majority of the season.  If the shoes continue to fit perfectly and the games end before midnight, you can be certain that Detroit will dance away with the World Series crown. 

I’ll go out on another limb and predict that the Tigers will SWEEP their NL opponent in the World Series.  Remember, the AL is 8-0 in World Series games over the last two years. 


Trivia Time!

Yesterday’s question was…

On September 25, 2003, Carlos Delgado became just the 15th player in MLB history to do what? 

The correct answer…

Delgado became the 15th player in MLB history to hit 4 Homeruns in one game on September 25, 2003 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. 

Congrats to GF for answering correctly!

Today’s question is…

Tigers’ outfielder Magglio Ordonez was selected to the 2006 All-Star game as an injury replacement for who? 


2 Responses to “Five Reasons Why the Tigers Will Win the World Series”

  1. Tigers in 6 (six)

  2. gf,

    I think you’re giving St. Louis a little more credit than they deserve. The difference between the level the Tigers’ play at and the level St. Louis does is huge. It just shows once again the disparity between the AL and NL, something that baseball needs to fix before the American League’s impending (and possibly already ongoing) dominance of the World Series becomes fully apparent.

    Valid prediction though — if Chris Carpenter can regain his form, the Cards might be able to stretch this one out and make the Tigers clinch it at Comerica Park.

    One other thing, the Cardinals might be the worst WS team ever with just 83 regular season wins. Detroit’s total of 95 against a much tougher League certainly says a lot.

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