Four ex-Tiger pitchers will be playing in the 2019 World Series, which might be a little hard to take for Tiger fans who have suffered through a couple of terrible seasons.   But this series can also give Tiger fans some hope.   The Astros and Nationals both have excellent pitching staffs, and each has a former #1 draft pick.

The old adage in baseball is that “good pitching will get out good hitting.”   With that in mind, the Tigers have concentrated their rebuilding efforts around pitching.   They haven’t arrived yet, but they will soon.

In the 2019 World Series, former Tigers Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez, and reliever Fernando Rodney all pitch for the Nationals.  Scherzer has had an off year, with some injuries, but anybody who watched the playoffs knows that he’s still pitching about as good as anybody in baseball.  Sanchez had a great year for Washington, and nearly no-hit the Cardinals in this years’ playoffs.   Rodney still has one of the best changeups in the game.  Astros' Justin Verlander was 21-6 this season, and could win another Cy Young Award.

The Nationals have the oldest Major League roster, with an average age of 31.1 years.  Fernando Rodney is the oldest player in the majors at 42.   Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez are each 35.  The Nationals struggled mightily in the first half of the season, but look where they are now:  The World Series.   Maybe that veteran presence helped them stay the course.

Each team also features on overall #1 draft pick, and both have lived up to the hype.

Stephen Strasburg was the Nationals’ overall top pick in the 2009 draft.  He was 18-6 this year.

Astros’ right-hander Gerrit Cole was an overall top pick too, by the Pirates in 2011. Cole went 20-5 with a major league leading 326 strikeouts.

The Astros were a terrible team, just six years ago.   They were 51-111 in 2013, their third straight year of losing more than 100 games.   So, there’s hope for Tiger fans.