The Detroit Tigers with twin-aces Justin Verlander and Doug Fister, and the St. Louis Cardinals, baseball’s hottest team, are now the sexy pick to meet in a rematch of the 2006 World Series. After beating the two top favorites in the division series, it makes since for people to be excited about the Tigers and Cardinals. However, a seven game championship series is much different than a five game series, while anything can happen in a five game series, when two more games are added into the equation statistics become a lot more formidable. And when the statistics are brought into the equation, there is a quantitative advantage for both the Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers. ALCS: The Rangers, as many would expect, are a better hitting team than the Tigers. The Rangers have a team WAR of 38.9 (best of any playoff team) and a team wOBA of .348 (also the best of any playoff team). While the Tigers sit at a WAR of 28.5 and wOBA of .336. Some would argue that seeing Verlander and Fister twice in a seven game series could neutralize the highly talented Rangers’ offense. And I would agree Verlander (7 WAR, 3.12 xFIP) and Fister (5.6 WAR, 3.61 xFIP) are as good as any starter the Rangers have to offer. But great pitchers are not invincible, as shown in the Phillies’ series, with both Halladay and Lee losing starts, as well as, in Tigers’ ALDS series, in which Fister lost Game 1. Many people would be surprised about two facts about the Rangers team pitching though.
- CJ Wilson is better than Doug Fister, and can beat Verlander. Wilson was an all-star this season, he pitched in the ALCS last year, as well as the World Series, so he has experience. Also his numbers are fantastic, with a 5.9 WAR and xFIP of 3.41. His K/9 rate is only half a strikeout less than Verlander’s as well.
- The Rangers are a better pitching team than the Tigers. You think I’m wrong? Well I would advise people to look at the numbers again, before they give the Tigers the pitching advantage over the Rangers. The Rangers team pitching WAR is 21.7 to the Tigers 20.0 and team xFIP is 3.83 to the Tigers 4.0.