Detroit Tigers: 5 Reasons They Are Headed to the World Series

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Detroit Tigers: 5 Reasons They Are Headed to the World Series
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The 2012 American League Champions are popping bottles as they return to the World Series for the first time since 2006.

After a surprising sweep of the New York Yankees in the 2012 American League Championship Series, Detroit has a bevy of sources to credit for its success on the road to the World Series.

Although Detroit welcomed back most of its roster and manager Jim Leyland, this year's journey featured seven fewer wins in the regular season as the pitching staff regressed from a phenomenal campaign in 2011.

The Tigers didn’t lead the league in any major  pitching categories after Verlander led the AL in ERA, strikeouts and wins while Tigers closer Jose Valverde led the league in saves in 2011.

This season was more about Detroit's offense as the Tigers added first baseman Prince Fielder in the offseason and Miguel Cabrera earned baseball's first Triple Crown since 1967.

The Tigers entered the 2012 postseason tied for the worst record among MLB's eight postseason teams.

But Detroit conquered the American League this season with improved postseason pitching and hitting along with a more balanced attack.

The Tigers stifled the Yankees, only allowing 1.5 runs per game in the ALCS after allowing 6.5 runs per game while falling to the Rangers in the 2011 ALCS. The Tigers lineup increased its batting average to .254 after batting .237 last postseason.

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