It seems like the Tigers have just about everything going in their favor heading into the 2006 World Series. They’ve gotten a week of rest while the Cardinals have been fighting for their lives in a tough NLCS. The Tigers handled the Cardinals pretty easily when they came to Detroit, the rotation is set just like Jim Leyland wants it and Albert Pujols is nursing a hamstring injury. The Tigers are red hot after winning seven straight while the Cardinals have been pretty much winning one game at a time. The Tigers are heavy favorites and it seems like nobody is giving the Cardinals much of a chance in this series. Most feel the Tigers should sweep while I’ve heard several people “hope” it goes to six just so the Tigers can win at home. It’s like everything is in the Tigers’ favor.
Which is why I’m worried. Nobody gave the Tigers much of a chance against the Yankees just a couple of weeks ago and nobody gave the Tigers much of a chance against the Cardinals back in 1968. While it’s great to be optimistic, I think we shouldn’t be getting ahead of ourselves. Anything can, and probably will, happen.
Justin Verlander will get the start in game one. I was a little surprised by this, and expected Kenny Rogers in that first game. Maybe Leyland wanted Rogers in a game six if it goes that far instead of Verlander. Another rookie will be on the mound for the Cardinals in Anthony Reyes, who has some very good stuff. He didn’t have quite have the success that Verlander had this year but remember this guys’ name because he’s going to be a good one.
So, here’s how I think this is going to play out. Tigers win game one. Then Rogers finally hits a wall and loses game two. The Cards get a strong and emotional outing by Jeff Weaver and he gets plenty of help from Albert Pujols, who has a monster game against Rogers. The Cardinals will then throw everyone for a loop and take the series lead with a win in game three when Chris Carpenter outduels Nate Robertson, but the Tigers then win three straight to win the series in six. The final game will see Carpenter throw on short rest and get shelled for his efforts. World Series MVP will go to Justin Verlander, who will win games one and a critical game five.
Works for me.