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.
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.
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