MLB Playoff Predictions: Why Giants and Tigers Are Locks to Meet in World Series

Joe GoldmanCorrespondent IOctober 13, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 11:  The Detroit Tigers celebrate after the Tigers defeat the Oakland Athletics 6-0 in Game Five of the American League Division Series at Coliseum on October 11, 2012 in Oakland, California. Verlander pitched a complete game shut out as the Tigers advance to the American League Championship Series.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The MLB postseason has been complete and utter bananas so far. After four Game 5s, several walk-off wins and countless late-inning comebacks, unpredictability is now the norm.

The league championships, however, are set for a little more predictability.

While anything can happen in October, all logical signs point to a Giants-Tigers World Series. Here's why.


Tigers over Yankees

Deciding Factor No. 1: Extra Day Off for Tigers

From a statistical and empirical standpoint, the ALCS is nearly deadlocked.

Both teams boast solidified aces, good rotation depth, comparable bullpens and ample offensive firepower. In a seven-game series, this one's basically a toss-up.

One factor that will elevate the Tigers, however, is an extra day of rest. One day may sound rather insignificant, but it's actually game-changing in this series.

CC Sabathia, who matched a season high with 122 pitches in Game 5 of the ALDS, will not pitch again until Game 4 according to Matthew Puliot of NBC Sports.

Meanwhile, Justin Verlander will likely pitch Game 3 at home. Verlander has been basically unhittable, so the Tigers are in prime position to take an early series lead.   

Additionally, this extra day off puts the Tigers in a better position to win Game 7. Verlander will pitch on normal rest while Sabathia, if Girardi decides to start him, will pitch on three days' rest.  




Deciding Factor No. 2: Yankee Drama

After benching Alex Rodriguez in Game 5 of the ALDS, manager Joe Girardi has opened Pandora's box.

While Girardi was simply trying to put the best possible team on the field, the media is pouncing on the opportunity to create a dramatic October storyline.

Such postseason drama is always detrimental to a championship effort. All eyes should be focused on winning and not A-Rod's fall from grace as a player, his lack of "clutch" or a potential relationship issue with his manager.

It's still unknown which games A-Rod will start, if at all. Regardless, this is an extra distraction that the Yankees don't need right now.

It could cost them their focus and, in turn, the series. Stay tuned.


Giants over Cardinals

Deciding Factor: Home Field

With nearly identical offensive and pitching talent, the deciding factor in this series is going to be home-field advantage.  

The Giants are absolutely brilliant at home. They pitch better and put more runs on the board, yielding a 48-33 record on the season. 

Meanwhile, the Cardinals are a notoriously bad road team. They went a miserable 38-43, which is among the worst out of all playoff teams.

Furthermore, the Giants have five start-worthy options in their pitching arsenal, the likely NL MVP in Buster Posey and an extra day of rest under their belt. 

This matchup is close enough to assume a six- or seven-game series is in the works, in which case the Giants' home field advantage will push them into the World Series.