Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
My heart wants to tell me that the Tigers are going to come out of nowhere with no pressure on to surge past the Yankees and give the winner of the Oakland-Minnesota series a run for their money. But my head compares the two lineups, the way the two teams have played as of late, and I just can't see the Tigers making it past the divisional series against the Yankees. That's no slam against the Tigers; but the fact is when you compare the two lineups, you probably take every single Yankee over each and every Tiger, and while the Tiger pitching staff is stronger, I don't think it'll be enough to overcome the evil empire. The Tigers won't be swept, but I'll be surprised if they can force a fifth game.
Mark Anderson, Associate Editor, Minor Leagues
I actually think the Tigers may make it to the ALCS. I've really got nothing more to go on here, than a hunch, but I'm running with it. I think they are capable of splitting in New York, with either Robertson or Verlander, and then they can figure things out from there. Even though the pitching has been very hit or miss late in the season, the offense still seems to be swinging some decent bats for the most part, which could help. The Yankees starters aren't that spectacular, and I think the Tigers could get to them for some runs. If they can get a couple of good starts, and win a slug fest, they may move on this year.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I think the Tigers stay in the playoffs will depend on their attitude. Will they be mad as hell about choking away the division title and be in full-attack mode, or will they wallow in their pity and be the scared team that we saw this weekend? We certainly won't know that answer until Tuesday night, but even though the Yankees dominated the season series, all three games in the Bronx were two-run contests, and it took gems from Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina, as well as a five-run 11th to get their wins in the series at Detroit. I think the Tigers can play with the Yankees, but this team must put the past week behind them and play with nothing to lose. When it comes down to it, I think the Yankees offense will wear down the Tigers pitching staff and win in four hard-fought games. I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't see the mental toughness needed to overcome the adversity every team will face in the postseason.
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