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3 Reasons why Tigers fans should watch the World Series

The Fall Classic, the originator of championship series, is right around the corner as the National League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58) take on the American League Champion Houston Astros (101-61), beginning at Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

And no, the Detroit Tigers never had a shot this year and most of us knew it early on (or before the season even began), but that is no excuse for missing this years installment of the World Series. In case you actually need encouragement to witness history, here are three reasons the Dodgers vs. Astros matchup are worth your viewing eyes.

Two 100-win teams is a RARE occurrence

The last time a World Series involved two 100-win teams was in 1970 when the 108-win Baltimore Orioles defeated the 102-win Cincinnati Reds in five games, stalling The Big Red Machines rise for one year. Eventual Tiger skipper (and still my favorite Tiger) Sparky Anderson was a rookie manager for those Reds.

In a year where baseball had sort of this “Premier League” of super teams amongst the rest of the league. This year’s Fall Classic will have two such teams.

These ARE the two best teams

No disrespect to the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees and Washington Nationals, but the two teams playing in the World Series are and have been the two best teams all year.

The Dodgers were the “it” team in the National League basically all year. After going just 14-12 in April to open the year, L.A. proceeded to go an absurd 60-19 over the next three months. At one point, they had a 21-game separation within their own division. They finished the year with the most wins in baseball despite a terrible September (12-17) and have steamrolled their way through the senior circuit playoffs.

After sweeping an Arizona Diamondbacks team that had an 11-8 regular season advantage against the Dodgers, Dem Bums took revenge against the defending champs, taking down the Chicago Cubs in just five games.

The Astros were the talk of baseball almost immediately, starting hot in April (16-9), and staying hot in May (22-7) before Hurricane Harvey turned their world upside-down. Despite that tumultuous summer that ended with a bad August (11-17), they bounced back with a red-hot September (20-8). They dismantled the Boston Red Sox in four games before taking on the upstart New York Yankees in a seven-game thriller where the home team won every game. And while Dodgers/Yankees brings an air of nostalgia to the Fall Classic, the Astros were the better team and proved it in game seven.

Which brings me to the largest and most-obvious reason any and every Tiger fan needs to watch the World Series…

BECAUSE JUSTIN VERLANDER IS PITCHING IN THE WORLD SERIES

Look, we all miss Justin Verlander, and cringe a little as we watch him trot to the mound in a Houston Astros uniform. But he is OUR guy, OUR ace, and this is HIS chance to finally mark that final checkbox in his Hall-of-Fame resume: World Series Champion.

Verlander has done it all in the game of baseball, he’s pitched no-hitters, he’s won Cy Youngs, he’s won AL MVPs, he’s won ALCS MVPs, but he has yet to win a World Series in two tries. The Tigers were a surprise team in 2006, a year removed from winning just 71 games under Alan Trammel, the ’06 Tigers brought in Jim Leyland, brought in Kenny Rogers, and introduced a young Verlander to Comerica Park. They won 95 games, swept the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS and proceeded to have the sloppiest World Series in the history of the game, falling to the St. Louis Cardinals in five games. Some have argued the long delay between Game 4 of the ALCS and Game 1 of the World Series iced the Tigers.

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In 2012, Verlander was cemented as “The Guy” and led a talented rotation including Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, and Doug Fister. The Tigers once again swept the ALCS, this time over the New York Yankees, and once again were forced to wait while the NLCS went once again seven games, with the San Francisco Giants defeating the Cardinals. Once again the delay iced the Tigers who allowed Pablo Sandoval to hit three home runs in his first three plate appearances, two off Verlander, and the Tigers were never in the game or the series. The 2012 Tigers became just the third team to be swept after sweeping their championship series. The Tigers bullpen killed Detroit’s last chance in 2013 as they fell to the AL Champion and eventual World Series Champion Boston Red Sox in six ALCS games.

And THIS is why Verlander left Detroit at the 11th hour for Houston. For this last chance to get that coveted ring. He’s done it all in baseball, and if he can check this one last box, he and everyone else knows the Hall of Fame is a lock.

Written by Matt Bassin

Born in L.A., raised in Detroit and SoCal. Born Green and White, but am an Arizona Alumnus with my degree in Journalism. Have worked for newspapers as a writer/editor, and as an on-air talent for sports radio. Follow the Lions, Red Wings, Tigers, Pistons and Lakers. Go Green!

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