At the outset of the 2011 season, few favored the Detroit Tigers to be serious contenders for the World Series. Most sports books expected the Tigers to finish third in the American League Central, and the team's betting odds were in the middle of the pack for all Major League Teams.
But now, less than two weeks until Game 1 of the World Series, the Tigers stand on the brink of winning the pennant for the first time since 2006 and for the tenth time in team history.
Standing in the way of the Tigers' surprising run are the returning American League champions, the Texas Rangers. The Rangers are coming off three consecutive wins against a blazing hot Tampa Bay Rays team, have the home field advantage, and hope to dispatch the Tigers and avenge last season's World Series defeat.
In addition to having some very important obvious advantages, the Tigers have some less noticeable advantages that will help them defeat the Rangers and return to the World Series.
Here, we take a look at five reasons the Tigers can defeat the Rangers and advance to play the National League champions.