Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Quick World Series Preview

As Game One begins in less than an hour and I've got pizza to pick up and a friend's house to travel to, I'll try to keep this brief. Plus I already said enough about both participants in my LCS previews (which turned out to be spot on, go read 'em).

Despite the San Francisco Giants having home field advantage in the World Series, the betting lines show the Detroit Tigers as heavy favorites to win their first championship since 1984. That seems entirely logical considering the way the Tigers plowed over the best team in the American League, the Yankees, in a sweep of the ALCS. The Detroit pitching staff is headlined by the best thrower of baseballs on the planet, Justin Verlander, and if the Giants have any chance of winning they'll probably have to beat him at least once. Behind Verlander, every other starter in the Tigers' rotation is formidable, this depth being the key reason behind their takedown of the Yanks.

The problem for Detroit is their horrendous defense. Their starting pitching is so great, registering so many strikeouts that the defense tends to not matter all that much. The ball is so rarely put into play. This was especially true against the A's and Yankees in the postseason, two teams that strike out a ton and rely on home runs to score.

The Giants, on the other hand, hit the fewest homers in baseball this year. And yet they were one of the best offensive teams in the sport. This is because they succeed by putting the ball in play, smacking doubles and triples all over the field while rarely striking out. Look for this attribute of the San Francisco offensive attack to be a major factor in this series. The Tigers can't catch the ball (aside from Austin Jackson in center) and the Giants don't strike out that much.

The Giants also boast a much stronger bullpen than the Tigers and this will surely come into play as the San Francisco starting rotation appears to be a weak spot going into the series. They'll have their worst starter, Barry Zito, on the mound in Game 1 to face Verlander and it looks like their best pitcher, Matt Cain, will only pitch in one game (Game 4). The Tigers will surely put some runs on the board and so you can count on the Giants bullpen having to get involved early in some of these games.

While Detroit's vaunted rotation will be a major threat, I expect the Giants to have little trouble scoring runs, particularly at home. When the series shifts to Detroit, the Tigers will have a big advantage as they're built to carry a DH, while the Giants will have to put some inadequate hitter (Aubrey Huff or Hector Sanchez) in that spot. I expect Verlander to steal the show for Detroit at least once in the Series, but I still pick the Giants to overcome Detroit in six games.

1 comment:

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