Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/20/13
In 2011 it was a run to the ALCS that fell short, leaving Tigers fans saying “There’s always next year.” In 2012 it was a run to the World Series resulting in a sweep, yet again, leaving fans saying, “There’s always next year.” And to some extent, they are right. But now it is next year. And as the 2013 season winds down and the playoffs approach Scherzer has anchored the Tigers, and as the season winds down, he’s the clear ace. , the Tigers are pretty much locked in for an ALDS rematch with the Athletics, barring, of course, a collapse by the Red Sox and an epic surge by either Detroit or Oakland. There are some fans who say “World Series or bust.” And some fans are saying “We’ll bust in the World Series.” Which one is right? Well, they’re both right, to some extent. The former is more correct. This has to be the year. They’ve been so close, and it will be a huge disappointment if they don’t win a title this October. The other, however could be correct, too. Just because this team is playing exceptionally well, and just because they’ve been so close the last two seasons, that means nothing. This team could easily get to the World Series and collapse like their last two appearances (1-8). That is, if the Tigers can even make it to the World Series. Oakland will be no joke, as Detroit saw last year, as they almost let a 2-0 lead evaporate into early elimination (granted, there is no Jose Valverde to contribute to that this year). Oakland has the fourth-highest run total in the AL in 2013, owns the fourth spot for most home runs, and the second-best team ERA. That can’t go without mentioning, though, that the Tigers rank second, fifth and third, respectively. Meaning, while the Tigers own the best batting average and the most strikeouts, the A’s are right behind them in different aspects of the game. And Oakland isn’t the only road block. There’s Boston, home of the MLB’s best record, and most of the stats’ top spots. And oh yeah, they’re pretty good in October (two World Series titles since 2004). Rounding out the list of road blocks are Texas and Tampa Bay holding the top two Wild Card spots, and a flurry of other eligible teams in Cleveland, Baltimore, Kansas City and New York. The point is, just because the Tigers have come so close the last two years, certainly does not mean that they’re just going to win it this year. It’s not that simple. However, that does not mean they aren’t fully capable. They’re no doubt one of the best teams in baseball. Stats-wise, as previously mentioned, they have one of the best hitting lineups in baseball. Guys like Miguel Cabrera (who unfortunately for all baseball fans will fall just short of a historical second-straight Triple Crown), Omar Infante, Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter pull the weight of the batting average, while Cabrera, Hunter and Fielder contribute to the RBI category. Despite a “terrible” year from Justin Verlander, as some would say, the pitching rotation has been quite dominant. Max Scherzer’s 20 wins, Anibal Sanchez’s team-best ERA of 2.51 and consistency starting to emerge, have been able to compensate for Verlander’s down, but not “terrible” year. With Jhonny Peralta returning from suspension for the last series of the year – in left field!? – and reliever Bruce Rondon finally starting to show some life, the Tigers can certainly make a push. Expect this team to push it to the limit, and quite possibly make a run at the much-awaited glory of 1984, but do not – DO NOT – expect anything to be handed to them.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Fred Hoiberg: Rajon Rondo ‘longshot’ to return during Celtics series

Pat Riley: LeBron James’ departure from Miami ‘was personal’

Marcus Smart fires back at Jimmy Butler over ‘not about that life’ talk

Tony Gonzalez: Tony Romo did not cost me CBS job

Martavis Bryant conditionally reinstated by the NFL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dustin Pedroia: No rift in Red Sox clubhouse after Manny Machado incident

USGA tries to simplify rules by ending viewer call-ins, somehow makes it more complicated

NFL GM: Peterson could push Saints ‘into the playoffs and beyond’

Report: Derek Jeter/Jeb Bush-led group wins auction for Miami Marlins

Jets GM: ‘No problem’ avoiding domestic violence offenders in draft

Texans will have a draft pick announced from outer space

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

NFL Draft X-factor players you may have missed during their college careers

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Box Score 4/25: 'So long, sleeves'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

NBA Weekend Awards: Who takes home the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy?

Where it went wrong: Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 exits

20 of the best NFL Draft red carpet looks

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

NFL Draft X-factor players you may have missed during their college careers

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Most inspirational sports movies, series and docs available for streaming

NBA Weekend Awards: Who takes home the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker