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3. Overall team depth
For years, the Tigers have attempted to win the World Series by having a collection of stars while filling out the rest of the roster with what have essentially been role players. This year, despite sending Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers, they still brought back Ian Kinsler. Players such as Doug Fister, Jhonny Peralta and Joaquin Benoit were jettisoned to keep the Tigers’ star players. Even the trade that brought David Price over cost the Tigers two solid pieces to the 2014 team in Drew Smyly and Austin Jackson.
Even though the Royals do not have the star power that the Tigers have, they are a deeper lineup. While Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez have been doing the majority of the damage for Detroit. The Royals, despite not having nearly the power that the Tigers have, possess a balanced lineup where everyone makes contact. They have the ability to continually put pressure on a defense, not only through the ability to make consistent contact, but through their speed as well.
Instead of relying upon a collection of role players and rookies to fill out their roster, the Royals brought in pieces to help their overall depth. Jason Vargas slotted in to replace Ervin Santana. Former Tiger Omar Infante has been the second baseman that the Royals have sought for years. Nori Aoki was expected to be the leadoff hitter that the Royals needed, and even though that move had not worked out, Aoki has been heating up as of late.
It may be strange to think of the Royals as having more depth than the Tigers, but it may also be correct. Eric Hosmer had been the Royals best hitter when he was injured, but they were able to replace him without issue. The Tigers, meanwhile, are scrambling to find depth in their rotation and bullpen. The Royals seem to have an advantage here as well.