By: Pat Caputo
1. Starting pitching – Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer are the ultimate power pitchers. Rick Porcello, despite some hard luck, has also pitched better lately. And when he’s been healthy as a Tiger, Doug Fister has been as effective as any Detroit pitcher, Verlander included. The Tigers have a better starting rotation by a wide shot over the White Sox, and it remains the biggest key in the game. Always has been. Always will be.
2. Star power – Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder are all on pace to end up in the Baseball Hall of Fame some day. They are all in their late 20s, which is the prime years for a baseball player. The White Sox don’t have any players who are likely to be in the Hall of Fame some day.
3. The schedule – The Tigers end the season with series against the foundering Royals and Twins, while the White Sox have late-season series against the Angels and Rays, who both figure to still be playing for a spot in the playoffs.