ALCS 2013: 5 Reasons Why Detroit Tigers Will Win the Pennant
5 Reasons Why Detroit Tigers Will Win ALCS
For the third straight season, the Detroit Tigers are headed to the ALCS with a chance at winning their third AL Pennant since 2006. Becoming a fixture in the championship series, the Tigers have found a way to win in the postseason for the past seven years. However, Detroit is hoping for some better luck if they do make it to a third World Series in seven years.
It wasn't too long ago when the Tigers were one of the laughing-stocks of the league, losing close to 100 games nearly every season, in fact, having one of the worst records in MLB history in 2003 with 43 wins and 119 losses seemed like the low point for this team and if anyone said that they would be headed to a World Series three years later, they would be called crazy.
A change in manager and a change in culture for the team led to one of the biggest turnarounds in recent memory. After suffering through a 43-win squad in 2003, the Tigers' front office hired Jim Leyland to replace Alan Trammel following the 2005 season. Leyland led the 2006 team to 95 wins and eventually a World Series appearance -- the franchise's best season since 1987. Not having won the World Series since 1984, the Tigers were desperate to come out on top, but failed to do so against the St. Louis Cardinals, losing the series 4-1 in embarrassing fashion.
Six years later, the Tigers made it back to the October Classic, ultimately receiving a sweep from the San Francisco Giants, 4-0. The Tigers are looking for a better result if they can get past the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS in 2013.
Here are five reasons why the Tigers will make their second-straight World Series appearance in 2013.
Miguel Cabrera's Bat Won't Stay Silent
It's been well-documented that Cabrera hasn't been healthy in quite some time. It has affected his batting and fielding ability, but even that won't be enough to slow down the best hitter in the world for yet another series. Although he's hitting .250 with one home run in the playoffs so far, don't be surprised if he breaks out at the plate in the ALCS -- he's too good to stay quiet for so long.
Victor Martinez is Hot at the Perfect Time
Martinez has been on fire since the All-Star break and has extended that hot hitting into the postseason, batting .450 with a crucial Game 4 home run and two RBI in the ALDS. It seems as if no one has been able to stop him for the better part of three months and I don't see that changing in the ALCS.
They Have Been There Before
For the third straight year, the Tigers have made it to the ALCS under Jim Leyland. Having won the ALCS two times in the past seven years, the Tigers know exactly how to win and get to the World Series. They have also owned the AL East in the playoffs in the past four postseasons the Tigers have appeared in. Although they have taken down the Yankees in past years, the Tigers will be ready for the Red Sox.
Justin Verlander is Back to Being Justin Verlander
Justin Verlander had a tough overall season in 2013 with an ERA of 3.46 and a 13-12 record -- poor under his standards. However, since Sept. 18, Verlander hasn't given up a run and has pitched 15 innings in the playoffs with no earned runs, 21 strikeouts and just six hits. Yeah, trying hitting against that.
Tigers' Pitching Rotation is Best in Baseball
With the best rotation in baseball, the Tigers held the Oakland Athletics in check in the ALDS. Max Scherzer followed by Verlander and then Anibal Sanchez and Doug Fister is the equivalent of death row for any opposition. None of those guys had an ERA of over 3.70 -- and that's unbelievable.