Why Tigers will win it all

The numbers suggest Cabrera and Fielder will be popping corks at the end of the World Series. AP Photo/Paul Sancya

In the September 30 issue of "ESPN The Magazine" (at newsstands now!) we ran down the statistical case for the Detroit Tigers being the favorites to win the 2013 World Series. A lot happens in two weeks of a pennant race, and when a press deadline hits, time doesn't stand still, and the facts on the ground tend to change. So the numbers have been updated through Wednesday's game, recalculated and re-crunched, and the new favorite to win the World Series is ... the Detroit Tigers.

What makes a team dangerous in October is similar to what makes a team dangerous from April through September, but there are differences that make the playoffs a whole new ballgame and that play to the Tigers' strengths, despite the fact that they will likely be the No. 3 seed in the American League.

Top-heavy Tigers

For example, quality depth, an important aspect of coming out on top over 162 games, tends to be a significantly smaller factor over a stretch of a few weeks -- after which a World Series champ can emerge in as few as 11 games.