The World Series is set. Wednesday night at 8:00pm EDT, one of the greatest spectacles in sport will be underway in San Francisco as the American League Champion Detroit Tigers will come to the left coast to take on the hometown San Francisco Giants. You can look at the positions of both teams and think that both have the edge coming into this series. The Tigers swept the helpless Yankees, outplaying them in every facet of the game. The Giants started their series with the Cardinals down 3-1, but clawed their way back and won in spectacular fashion. Both teams have momentum, but in different ways.
One has to step back and look at each team individually to see who has the advantage in this series. The Giants are a team built on solid pitching and timely hitting. They of course have the NL batting champion, catcher Buster Posey. But they also have important role players like Angel Pagan and NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro (who hit .500 in the series). Their pitching, led by Matt Cain, also features two-time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum, the much improved Barry Zito and the newcomer Ryan Vogelsong. With Sergio Romo closing out games and a great bullpen in general, this team is tough to beat if they can build a lead.
The Tigers are a team built to slug it out. Their pitching is above average especially with Justin Verlander leading the staff, but I still don’t think it reaches the level of the Giants. Their bullpen has also been exposed this postseason, especially defunct closer Jose Valverde. Though they were not really tested much against the Yankees, they will certainly be tested against a Giants team that has shown it can hit all postseason in all different ways. The Detroit offense is stellar, led by the middle of their order and corner infielders Prince Fielder and American League Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera.
Don’t be fooled if Detroit gets out to a fast start in this series. The Giants have won six straight elimination games, the first time a team has done that since the 1985 Royals. They are a resilient bunch and they have home field advantage, which will play in their favor if this series goes for an extended amount of time. I don’t usually like to make predictions, but it’s the World Series, so why not?
Giants in seven.