2012 World Series

MLB Playoff Bracket 2012: Breaking Down Detroit Tigers' Potential Opponents

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 18:  Fernando Salas #59 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches in the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants in Game Four of the National League Championship Series at Busch Stadium on October 18, 2012 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Tim KeeneyContributor IOctober 19, 2012

At this point, the Detroit Tigers probably don't care who they face in the World Series.

After slipping past the Oakland Athletics in five games in the division series, Jim Leyland's club absolutely destroyed the New York Yankees in the ALCS.

And that might be an understatement.

The Tigers didn't trail once and held the Yanks to six total runs—two in the last three games—during one of the most impressive four-game sweeps you'll ever see.

So, yeah, it's probably safe to say Detroit is riding high with confidence. St. Louis. San Francisco. It doesn't care. 

Nonetheless, it's still hard not to have at least a preference. Let's take a closer look at who the Tigers might face for baseball glory, and who they could be rooting for.

Note: For a look at the MLB playoff bracket, check out MLB.com.

 

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have jumped out to a 3-1 NLCS lead over the Giants, so there's a very likely chance this is who will face the Tigers in the World Series. 

If it is in fact the Cardinals, the Tigers will have to worry about two things: pitching and hitting.

So, to sum up, pretty much everything.

Led by Chris Carpenter (1.86 ERA) and Kyle Lohse (1.96 ERA), the Cardinals have a rotation made for the playoffs. The loss of Jaime Garcia hurts, but when Adam Wainwright is pitching to his ability, that's a tough trio to top.

The hitters aren't too shabby, either.

Carlos Beltran is continuing to establish himself as one the most dangerous postseason hitters in recent memory, as he is hitting .400 with three homers. The rest of St. Louis' stacked lineup hasn't been hitting for a great average, but it leads all playoff teams with 10 home runs, 22 doubles and a ridiculous 52 RBI through 10 games.

The Tigers pitching staff has been by far the best of the postseason, but it could have its hands full with the Cards lineup. 

 

San Francisco Giants

If I'm a Tigers fan, I'm rooting for the Giants to make another three-game comeback. 

Coming in, the Giants' strength was supposed to be pitching.

But Tim Lincecum, despite pitching well in relief, was rocked as a starter on Thursday. Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner have been painfully inconsistent, and Barry Zito isn't the most reliable guy in the world.

Ryan Vogelsong has been fantastic, but the Giants are still near the bottom of the pack in playoff ERA. 

The hitting hasn't been much better. San Fran has connected on some long balls, but with Buster Posey hitting .182, Hunter Pence hitting .171 and Brandon Belt hitting .167, its team batting average is an anemic .219.

The ironic part is that the Giants would have to turn those numbers around to win some games and face the Tigers, but I still say Detroit would much rather avoid the defending World Series champs.

 

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