|Justin Verlander's ERAs in six postseason|
series: 5.06, 6.75, 5.73, 5.00, 5.56 and 0.56.
The New York Yankees, the very symbol of smug entitlement, and the esthetically unappealing Detroit Tigers.
Obviously, I was rooting for the Orioles and Athletics in the division series. The big budget boys won.
Both teams feature power hitters, power pitchers, inferior defense (especially Detroit), offenses that struggle to generate runs without homers and a lot of wasted payroll (especially the Yankees).
After watching the Yankees hitters flail and fail repeatedly against Baltimore this week, I'm inclined to predict that the Tigers' fastballs will be too much for them. True, Justin Verlander won't be available until the middle of the ALCS, but Max Scherzer is a high-velocity arm, and Anibal Sanchez is no slouch.
And sooner or later, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder have to start hitting. Don't they?
The surviving National League teams, San Francisco and St. Louis, are likewise less interesting to me than the teams they vanquished, Cincinnati and Washington -- the two teams with the best records in the league.
The four division series all went the maximum five games, and, particularly in the AL series, there was a lot of drama. But only one of the higher seeds -- the Yankees -- advanced. Such is postseason baseball. In a short series -- and even a seven-game series is short -- the better team doesn't always win.