SAN FRANCISCO -- In our annual preview section in March, I picked the Tigers to beat the Giants in the World Series. Looked good based on the teams heading into this season but history said it was a longshot: The Giants have been around since 1883 and the Tigers since 1901 and they’ve never met in a Fall Classic until 2012.
(While I gladly accept plaudits for the pick, I’ll remind you in the interest of full disclosure I also had teams like the Blue Jays, Diamondbacks and Phillies in the playoffs as well).
While the Tigers overcame a season full of inconsistency and have ridden their dominant pitching to their spot here, the Giants arrived only through a head-shaking set of circumstances.
In the division series, remember, they lost the first two games at home to Cincinnati and had just one hit off Homer Bailey through nine innings of Game Three -- but somehow won it in 10 innings. They pulled out that series, then blew away the Cardinals over the final three games of the NLCS to the tune of 20-1.
I’m still waiting for Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to break out this postseason. Same for Prince Fielder. Hits are tougher to come by in October and so are home runs, especially in these two parks with huge outfields. Still, the Tigers should have more offense.
That said, I’m concerned about Detroit’s long layoff since the ALCS ended. This isn’t the NHL or NBA or NFL where a week (or even two) off is treasured. Baseball players want to go every day. The Giants are in quite a rhythm. The Tigers have been sitting. It was a disaster for them in 2006 and also a momentum killer for the Colorado Rockies in 2007 against Boston.
But this time is different. Justin Verlander will get the Tigers off to a fast start. The rotation will continue its rock-solid October. I’m sticking with what got me here from that section in March. Tigers in five.