MLB Playoff Bracket 2012: Breaking Down Top Potenital World Series Matchups
The underachieving bats of the New York Yankees should consider themselves lucky to be on the verge of getting swept out of the ALCS this October.
New York barely survived the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS, and has looked dreadful offensively throughout the postseason. They Yanks now find themselves in an 0-3 hole against the AL Central champion Detroit Tigers in the 2012 ALCS.
It's hard to believe the Yankees won four straight and 14 of their last 18 regular season games overall coming into the postseason. They are just 3-5 in these playoffs and are one loss away from another disappointing exit at the hands of the Tigers.
Only the Texas Rangers scored more runs during the regular season than the Yankees, but through eight postseason games Joe Girardi's club has just 21 runs. New York has just 14 runs in its last seven playoff games and only five through three games of the ALCS..
Given New York's dire situation, they will be excluded from my potential 2012 World Series matchups, of course, assuming they don't pull a 2004 Boston Red Sox.
Let's take a look at the two top potential World Series matchups in 2012.
Detroit Tigers vs. San Francisco Giants
The most intriguing World Series matchup this fall would be a best-of-seven series between the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants. Detroit and San Francisco didn't play each other at all during the 2012 regular season, but would suddenly be locking horns for all the marbles.
The star power on the mound would be absolutely incredible as well. From Justin Verlander, Doug Fister and Max Scherzer for Detroit to Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong on the Giants' side. It would be a pitching showcase not to be missed.
In a tough-to-pick showdown I would have to go with the team with the Triple Crown winner, Detroit.
Miguel Cabrera's ability to provide instant offense for the Tigers, who would have to win on the road at some point considering the NL has home-field advantage, is invaluable for Detroit, and gives its pitching staff added room for error.
Detroit Tigers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The Tigers took two of three games from the St. Louis Cardinals last June, with their ace, Justin Verlander earning his seventh win of the season in the series opener.
If the Cardinals can reach the World Series, I love their chances to repeat. They have tremendous experience just having done it last season, and have the confidence after coming from behind to beat Washington in the NLDS to know they are never out of any game.
Only the Washington Nationals, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays had a higher scoring differential than the Cardinals during the regular season. They aren't dominant in one particular area, but boast the perfect combination of experience and talent to succeed in October.
Detroit's bullpen is exceptional, but I can't see any Major League team beating St. Louis four times in a championship series.
MLB Playoff Bracket
NL Wild Card: St. Louis Cardinals defeat Atlanta Braves, 6-3
AL Wild Card: Baltimore Orioles defeat Texas Rangers, 5-1
League Division Series
NLDS: St. Louis Cardinals defeat Washington Nationals, 3-2
NLDS: San Francisco Giants defeat Cincinnati Reds, 3-2
ALDS: New York Yankees defeat Baltimore Orioles, 3-2
ALDS: Detroit Tigers defeat Oakland Athletics, 3-2
League Championship Series
NLCS: San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Tied 1-1
ALCS: Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees, Tigers lead 3-0
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