Welcome to the 2012 Major League Baseball Playoffs. It was an especially entertaining regular season, with many division races being decided throughout the very last week. And here we are, with eight teams left competing for that glorious spot in the World Series. I will be taking a close look at the ALCS and NLCS when the four teams that move on are decided; however, today I will focus on the Detroit Tigers, one of the hottest teams in baseball today.
The Detroit Tigers have taken a commanding 2-0 lead on the Oakland Athletics, and while it may not be pretty each and every game, they are finding ways to win. They are one game away from moving on to their second straight ALCS, which is very exciting for the team, not to mention the city of Detroit. I see the Tigers taking this series in four games (losing one game in Oakland and then winning Game 4 in Oakland). Let’s take a look at what makes this Detroit team so special for this postseason.
With Miguel Cabrera winning the Triple Crown, it seems that he is capable of producing superhuman numbers this postseason. Prince Fielder bolsters the talent in the lineup, Austin Jackson has been having a career year, and the rest of the lineup can produce virtually at any given point. When the offense is clicking, the Tigers are a scary team to face.
In my opinion, Justin Verlander is the best starting pitcher in the league. Doug Fister has been a reliable number two man, and Max Scherzer is a strikeout machine. Even Anibal Sanchez has shown signs of being a consistent number four man in the lineup. Al Alburquerque and Jose Valverde are solid in the later innings, and a Tigers team that has been criticized for its pitching actually seems to be in pretty good shape.
Jim Leyland seems to take a lot of heat when the Tigers are losing, but doesn’t get much credit when they are winning. He is the best manager that the Tigers have had in a long time, and if they make a deep run in the playoffs, Jim Leyland deserves a rousing round of applause and a pat on the back at the least.
I truly think this Tigers team is capable of making it to the World Series this year. Who knows, maybe they can win it as well. Starting with a 2-0 record in the playoffs is surely a good sign though.
By: Brandon Klein
(Photo by rumn8tr under a Creative Commons License)