World Series prediction

I've been wrong for most of the postseason, so what's one more bad prediction.

The Detroit Tigers have it all going on, batting .297 while dispatching division winners New York and Oakland in easy fashion. Placido Polanco -- the ALCS MVP -- is batting .471 this postseason, and will try to get some revenge against he team that traded him.

Polanco traded with pitcher Bud Smith to Philadelphia for Scott Rolen in 2002.

Detroit's pitching staff, mixing veterans like Kenny Rogers with rookies, including probable AL Rookie of the Year Justin Verlander, has gotten stronger against better competition. After posting a 3.60 ERA in the division series win over Oakland, the Tigers' reduced that to 2.25 against the Yankees.

St. Louis, meanwhile, is coming off a grueling seven-game series win over the New York Mets. Beating pitchers like Oliver Perez and John Maine is one thing, but the Cardinals will have a far tougher time against Detroit's staff.

They probably can get to closer Todd Jones when he comes in, but I don't think they'll have an answer for set-up men Fernando Rodney or fireballer Joel Zumaya.

The key, for St. Louis, will be Rolen. He needs to do far better than the 0-for-15 he posted in 2004 when the Cardinals were swept by the Red Sox.

This could get ugly in a hurry ... and I will be at Game 3 Tuesday night in St. Louis to see this. Tigers in five.

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