The time is now for Tigers to win the World Series
By Jason Fielder, TV5 Sports Reporter - bio | email
TV5's Jason Fielder
DETROIT, MI (WNEM) -
I truly believe this is the Tigers year.
Everything has come together like a perfect storm. The Tigers have the best hitter (Miguel Cabrera) and pitcher (Justin Verlander) on the planet. Those two will sweep the top awards in the AL this season. They are also in their prime as ballplayers.
When it comes to the lineup, the Tigers also have another top-10 hitter in Prince Fielder and an up-and-coming top of the order player in Austin Jackson. Andy Dirks has provided the dirty work while also batting over .300, while Quintin Berry provides speed and is, like Dirks, a sparkplug for this team. While veterans Delmon Young, Jhonny Peralta, and Alex Avila have underperformed to their standards at the plate this season, they have all played in big games and have shown the ability to come up with clutch hits.
The Tigers rotation is the main reason why I believe they will win it all. It's also the reason they are in the playoffs, with pitchers hitting their peaks at the right time. Verlander's been Cy Young-caliber all season, and since the All-Star break, Doug Fister is 8-4 with a 2.67 ERA, Max Scherzer is 8-2 with a 2.81 ERA (although Scherzer's injury issue--shoulder and now ankle--are a bit disconcerting), and in his last 8 starts, Anibal Sanchez has allowed 13 ER in 54 1/3 innings for an ERA of 2.15. If you were to rank the AL rotations heading into the playoffs, I'd go: 1. Tigers, 2: A's, 3: Rangers, 4a: Yankees, 4b. Orioles
Here are the Tigers regular season records vs. the AL playoff teams: 4-3 vs. Oakland, 3-3 vs. Baltimore, 4-6 vs. New York, and 3-7 vs. Texas. While it's obvious Detroit should hope to face a combination of Oakland and Baltimore to reach the World Series, I don't think it matters who they play. The Tigers have owned the Yankees the last 2 times they've hooked up in the playoffs, the A's are young with an underwhelming lineup, the Orioles have a mediocre rotation and lineup at best and have survived thanks to late-inning heroics (29-9 in 1-run games, 16-2 in extra innings), while Texas is limping into the playoffs and may have to win a wild-card game just to reach the ALDS.
Unlike last year when the Tigers had the division wrapped up in early September, Detroit had to fight to (nearly) the end to make the playoffs, and in professional sports recently that seems to be an indicator of postseason success. Last season, the St. Louis Cardinals barely made the playoffs, and then went on to win the championship. Ditto with the New York Giants in the NFL, and the LA Kings in the NHL. Getting hot at the right time is key, with momentum and a growing sense of confidence proving to be invaluable.
While the playoffs are basically a crapshoot, with any team capable of winning, this season, more than 2011 and 2006, I like the Tigers chances to get it done.
Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Wednesday, August 27 2014 2:48 AM EDT2014-08-27 06:48:05 GMT
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