When the Detroit Tigers defeated the New York Yankees 8-1 Thursday night, they won the ALCS, clinching a spot in the 2012 World Series.
The Tigers looked dominant during their four-game series with the Yankees, but they may not exactly hold any edge over their opponent from the NL—no matter who it is.
The winner of the NLCS comes into the World Series with a key advantage that comes along with any series—home field. While the Giants have not been great at home during the playoffs, home field always provides an edge. The Cardinals, on the other hand, have been good at home and look to continue their home-field advantage in Game 5, as they try to close out the NLCS.
The rest factor is a made to be a big deal coming into the World Series, and many people are chalking that up to an advantage for the Tigers, but most people are forgetting that if the Cardinals win tonight they will have almost as much rest as the Tigers.
Coming into the World Series, the Tigers bring baseball's hottest pitching staff.
The Tigers pitchers have been scary so far in the playoffs. Led by Justin Verlander, who has posted a 0.74 ERA, the Tigers would appear to have a distinct advantage over any opponent they might face on the mound.
Both NL representatives have formidable pitching staffs as well, but they might not be as strong as the Tigers.
The advantage the pitching staffs of the NL bring is in experience.
Both St. Louis and San Francisco have multiple pitchers who have lots of valuable experience. However, consistency has been a problem so far for both these teams pitching-wise.
The team that is the most consistent will end up taking the series.
Offensively, the Cardinals bring in one of the league's hottest, deepest and scariest batting orders. Led by last year's World Series MVP David Freese, the Cardinals have been a solid hitting team all playoffs. The Giant lineup has struggled at times but can still produce great offensive power and production against even the best of pitchers (Verlander).
Overall, rest won't be a factor at all when it comes down to the World Series.
The team that is able to play the most consistently with its full lineup playing effectively will win the World Series.