Detroit Tigers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Need more evidence that the Tigers are a team of destiny? Then you're pretty dense.
Not only did Detroit sweep the ALCS, giving them a full week of rest for their young power pitching, they will be going up against the Cardinals, arguably one of the worst teams ever to make the World Series, fresh off a grueling, seven-game elimination of the not-much-better Mets.
With Thursday's Game 7 survival (moreso than a victory) in the NLCS, the Cards toted the second-lowest full regular season win total into the World Series. Their 83 wins are undercut only by the 1973 Mets, who won just 82 regular season games.
If there is a shred of historical hope for St. Louis, those Mets took the powerful A's of Reggie Jackson and Catfish Hunter to seven games before succumbing.
I doubt anything like that is going to happen this year. The Tigers are too good, and the NL, honestly, has been an October joke for the past three years.
The Cards, in particular, have been symbolic of the NL's futility in recent years. They were the lamb to the slaughter in 2004 when the Red Sox swept away the Curse of the Bambino.
Last year, the Astros spared the Cardinals another World Series humiliation, dropping them in the NLCS and taking the AL bullet themselves, getting swept by the White Sox.
But this year, the Cardinals appear to be more cannon fodder for an AL team on a mission. Less-talented, gassed by their emotional pennant-clinching win and opening the Series on the road, I expect the Tigers to win the first two games in Detroit with little trouble.
If St. Louis is really unlucky, they'll never recover and get swept. If they catch a break or two, they might steal at game at home. If they dig deep down, they might win two in St. Louis and force the series back to Detroit. But that's about as good as it's going to get for the fans wearing red.
I don't have the heart to predict a sweep. I just can't see the National League losing 12 straight World Series games. But, even if the Cards manage to make somewhat of a series of it, it still probably won't be as close as it looks.
Tigers in six