Let's set aside many of the factors we examine at the outset of each World Series -- home-field advantage, weather, layoff, no designated hitters in the National League park -- to consider the one that tends to trump them all.
Starting pitching, more specifically.
By the time the World Series opens Wednesday, the Detroit Tigers will have had nearly a week to line up their rotation: Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer. The same quartet swept the New York Yankees in the ALCS, while combining for a 5-1 record and 1.02 ERA this postseason. At a time of year when additional rest can be valuable for pitchers, the Tigers' starters are getting plenty of it.
Their National League opponent won't have the same luxury.
Both the Cardinals and Giants have taxed their pitching resources during a captivating National League Championship Series, and they will spend two more top starters -- Kyle Lohse for St. Louis, Matt Cain for San Francisco -- ...