PREVIOUS post-season: Lost 2011 ALCS to Rangers in six games.
Stud Hosses: Triple Crown winner 3B Miguel Cabrera was almost a four-figure man with an .999 OPS, hitting 44 homers, knocking in 139 runs and batting .330; and another Cy Young season from Justin Verlander, 17-8, 2.64, with 239 strikeouts.
Manager: Jim Leyland
Theme: “We were a lead-pipe lock in Lakeland — and we still are.”
Looking up: 1B Prince Fielder overcame some early struggles to hit .313 with 30 homers, 108 RBIs amd a .940 OPS.
Looking down: After going 49-for-49 a year ago, Jose Valverde blew five games this year, ending with 35 saves and a 3.78 ERA.
Retired numbers: Sparky Anderson (11), Ty Cobb, Mickey Cochrane, Sam Crawford, Charlie Gehringer (2), Hank Greenberg (5), Harry Heilmann, Willie Horton (23), Hughie Jennings, Al Kaline (6), George Kell, Heinie Manush, Ernie Harwell, Hal Newhouser (16) and Jackie Robinson (42).
JAYS factor: Reliever Octavio Dotel appeared in 53 games for the Tigers.
Canada’s team: No. 1 ranking.
odds to win World Series: 6-1.
OAKLAND ATHLETICS 94-68
Team payroll: $55.4 million (29th)
Octobers: Four World Series win, six pennants, and 15 playoff appearances.
Post-season record: 33-42.
PREVIOUS post-season: Swept in 2006 ALCS by the Tigers.
Stud Hosses: LF Yoenis Cespedes hit .292 with 23 homers, 82 RBIs and an .861 OPS.
Manager: Bob Melvin.
Theme: “We’re so good, someone should make a movie about us.”
Looking up: Selected ninth overall by Arizona, RHP Jarrod Parker was 13-6 with a 3.47 ERA this season with the A’s.
Looking down: The A’s have been shut out 16 times this season.
Retired numbers: Rickey Henderson (24), Dennis Eckersley (43), Reggie Jackson (9), Catfish Hunter (27), Rollie Fingers (34), Walter A. Haas, Jr., and Jackie Robinson (42).
Jays factor: Jesse Chavez pitched 3.1 innings (18.90 ERA) and Jeremy Accardo one scoreless inning.
Canadian content: George Kottaras hit .212 after coming over from the Brewers but had six homers and 19 RBIs.
Canada’s team: 5th out of 10.
odds to win World Series: 15-1.
CINCINNATI REDS 97-65
Team payroll: $82.2 Million (17th)
Octobers: Five World Series titles, nine pennants, 13 playoff appearances
Post-season record: 44-38.
PREVIOUS post-season: Swept in 2010 Division Series by Phillies.
Stud Hosses: RF Jay Bruce arrived: hitting .252 with 34 homers, 99 RBIs and an .841 OPS and RHP Johnny Cueto, who went 19-9 with a 2.78 ERA, striking out 170 in 217 innings.
Manager: Dusty Baker.
Theme: “We are going to keep Dusty calm and relaxed.”
Looking up: RHP Mat Latos went 14-4 with a 3.48 ERA with 185 whiffs in 209 innings, while closer Aroldis Chapman was impressive going 5-5 with 38 saves and a 1.51 ERA. He fanned 122 in 71 innings.
Looking down: C Ryan Hanigan hit .274 with two homers and 24 RBIs and CF Drew Stubbs batted .212 with 14 homers and 40 RBIs.
Retired numbers: Fred Hutchinson (1), Willard Hershberger (5), Johnny Bench (5), Joe Morgan (8), Sparky Anderson (10), Dave Concepcion (13), Ted Kluszewski (18), Frank Robinson (20), Tony Perez (24) and Jackie Robinson (42).
JAYS factor: 3B Scott Rolen.
Canadian content: Etobicoke’s Joey Votto, who won the on-base percentage title despite not having enough having enough at-bats, that’s how good his year was. Scout Bill Byckowski of Toronto.
Canada’s team: Ranked No. 2.
odds to win World Series: Co-favoured at 5-1.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS 94-68
Team payroll: $117.6 Million (8th)
Octobers: One World Series title, four pennants and nine playoff appearances.
Post-season record: 27-25.
PREVIOUS post-season: Won 2010 World Series.
Stud Hosses: C Buster Posey is an MVP candidate hitting .336 with 24 homers, 103 RBIs and a .957 OPS, while RHP Matt Cain was 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA walking 51 and striking out 193.
Manager: Bruce Bochy.
Theme: “We’re not leaving our hearts anywhere but on the mound after Game 7 celebrations”
Looking up: Santiago Casilla is 25-for-31 converting saves replacing Brian Wilson.
Looking down: RHP Tim Lincecum, former Cy Young winner, went 10-15, with a 5.18 ERA. Giants also expected more than seven HRs from 1B Brandon Belt.
Retired numbers: Bill Terry (3), Mel Ott (4), Carl Hubbell (11), Monte Irvin (20), Willie Mays (24), Juan Marichal (27), Orlando Cepeda (30), Gaylord Perry (36), Willie McCovey (44) and Jackie Robinson (42).
JAYS factor: INF Marco Scutaro.
Canadian content: Part owner Jeff Mallett, of Victoria, B.C., and scout Ray Calari from Montreal.
Canada’s team: Ranked 7th.
odds to win World Series: 15-2.