Still, the Yankees are ultimately favored in this series and perhaps justifiably so. The Yankees still have the best lineup money can buy and ran away with the AL East. Not to mention they have history on their side, which never hurts.
If the first two games of this series have taught us anything, it's that the Tigers are certainly capable of hanging with the Bronx Bombers. Many factors are beginning to creep up that would suggest that they might just have what it takes to upset the 27-time World Series Champions.
The following slides present five reasons why the New York Yankees will not advance to the ALCS and will ultimately watch their season come to an end here in the division series at the hands of the Tigers.
Experience is one thing and it certainly goes a long way. But if it goes too far, it just becomes old. Unfortunately, many of the Yankees—especially their nucleus—have begun to grow a little long in the tooth.
Mind you, these are phenomenal players that have achieved many winning seasons and landmarks that are beyond compare, even recently. Mariano Rivera notching his 600th career save, for instance.
And of course, who could forget Derek Jeter's 3000th hit, coming in the most dramatic fashion possible in typical Jeter style.
Still, collectively they are not what they once were and at some point the human body begins to break down. At this late stage, the Tigers may have more youthful exuberance that could put them over the top.
Speaking of the human body breaking down, the Yankees have collectively sat out a lot of games this season with injuries. Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada have all missed time with injuries. Rodriguez even failed to play in 100 contests.
While it's true that the Yankees are back to full strength now, the time missed could potentially take a toll in the form of upset timing or simply a lack of confidence that the body will hold up. Even the slightest hesitation or uncertainty could be enough for the aggressive Tigers to jump up and steal this series.
There's no denying that history favors the Yankees and no one can ever take away their 27 World Series titles. Additionally, the entire Yankees organization is synonymous with winning at all costs. Anything less is unacceptable.
Still, with the exceptions of Russell Martin and Bartolo Colon, almost everyone else on the Yankees squad has already surmounted the pinnacle baseball achievement, winning the World Series.
Some might argue that this experience is invaluable, which would be hard to argue. But it could also let in an air of complacency. After all, the Yankees have been in the postseason since mid-September and haven't had much at stake for a very long time.
This fact could open the door for the hungry Tigers to grab a foothold in the series.
A bigger reason than the Yankees' shortcomings are the Tigers' upside, starting with their bats. If there's one lineup that can go toe to toe with the Yankees, it's the Tigers.
Their offensive attack is relentless, they can beat you in multiple ways. They can run, they can go gap to gap and they have power to go deep, even in their big home ballpark.
To make a good lineup even better, the addition of Delmon Young from Minnesota has solidified not only their left field platoon problems, but also the middle of their lineup. Young has been one of their hottest hitters down the stretch.
However, the centerpiece of their attack is unquestionably first baseman Miguel Cabrera. No stranger to the postseason, he was indoctrinated into Major League Baseball on the biggest stage of all—playing in the World Series as a 20-year old rookie phenom with the Florida Marlins.
He in the midst of his prime and has matured into one of the best pure hitters in the game today. He certainly has what it takes to put Detroit on his back. Coupled with the table setters in front of him, he presents an imposing problem for the Yankees' pitching staff.
Finally, the ace up the Tigers' sleeve is, well, their ace: Justin Verlander. Although rained out in Game 1, Verlander is one of the most dominating pitchers in all of baseball. He is almost certainly a lock for the AL Cy Young. And that's only where it begins.
The complimentary pitching staff the Tigers have behind Verlander have a distinct advantage over the Yankees rotation.
Max Scherzer is one of the hottest young pitchers in the game, just now realizing the full mastery of his potential. Rick Porcello is a solid No. 3, capable of rising to the occasion.
Even the crafty Doug Fister has been a pleasant surprise coming over from Seattle, making a difference down the stretch.
Out in the bullpen, Detroit has the ability to shorten the game with Joaquin Benoit and Daniel Schlereth. Of course, by the time the ball gets to "Papa Grande," closer Jose Valverde, his theatrics and dominance are more than enough to put out the lights.
Certainly, no one can be blamed for picking the New York Yankees in this series and beyond, but the AL East champs may, in reality, only be a shadow of their former selves.
Don't be surprised to see the pesky Detroit Tigers sending them back to the Bronx and heading off to the ALCS themselves.