OK, so before I get to my theory let me state that I know there are automatically several differences between the teams, namely the Tigers acquired a stud 3rd baseman and a pitcher who may pull out another good season or two from his rear end in the future.
But anyways, is it just me or does anyboy else notice strong parallels between the 2005-2007 White Sox and the Tigers from 2006 to the present? In '05 the White Sox experienced flukishly good health from their starting pitching and a solid but not spectacular offense. This of course lead them to a World Series victory (stupid Astros). In 2006 they failed to make the playoffs but still had 90 despite their pitching coming back to earth because of career years from several of their hitters. In '07, both hitters and pitchers performed at their normal levels and several injuries hurt their lineup even more.
Likewise, the 2006 Tigers also got off to an incredibly hot start (like the '05 Sox) and somewhat simmered down the stretch but then got hot going into the playoffs. All year and into the World Series they were carried by good and healthy pitching and the lineup packed a punch, although it was not spectacular. They luckily then decided to play like little leaguers and lost to the 82-win Cardinals from the NL Central of all teams. Last year, they recieved several injuries to their pitchers and the other hurlers mostly regressed. While this happened they got excellent, and likely career years, from at least 2 of their hitters which allowed them to finish with a respectable record.
Now I still believe, barring a long injury to a major player, that the Tiger's 08 lineup will score no less than 800 runs no matter what and they certainly will not be as bad as the White Sox of last season, but does anyone else think they just may not be nearly as good as many predict them to be?
(now watch them win 120 games)