The 2012 World Series is a best of seven battle between the two best teams in the MLB. Both the Giants and Tigers fought off elimination games this postseason, and are looking to be on top of the baseball world in a few weeks. Which of these feisty teams will come out on top?
Once you’ve done that, vote on the poll at the bottom of the article. Make sure you vote wisely, because the winner of the debate gets $10.
By: Jake Dal Porto
While the Tigers have been relaxing, the Giants had to play seven games to outlast the St.Louis Cardinals.
So, the 2012 World Series is set. It will be the Detroit Tigers against the San Francisco Giants. The Tigers are the favorites to win all the marbles, but this scrappy Giants’ team shouldn’t nearly be overlooked.
Here’s why the Giants will win their second World Series in three years:
Detroit Struggles Against Left-Handers
Yes, this is the World Series, and past results don’t have a big spot in the chaos of it all. However, during the regular season, the Tigers’ offense was stifled by southpaws. They went 25-26 against left-handed starters, and totaled just a .395 slugging percentage off all left-handers, including relievers. In comparison, Detroit had an overall slugging percentage of .422 during the regular season, which checked in as the fourth best mark in the American League.
How exactly does this work in the Giants’ favor?
Because manager Bruce Bochy officially aligned his rotation for the World Series on Tuesday afternoon, and penciled in Barry Zito and Madison Bumgarner as the starters for Games 1 and 2, both of which are southpaws.
Current Tigers’ hitters have hit a combined .190/.250/.310 off Zito in 84 at-bats. The Giants Game 5 hero will be coming off of 7.2 shutout innings against St.Louis in his last outing, and will be on normal rest, as it’s been four days since he last pitched. So Zito certainly has a lot working for him. But those little tidbits seem even littler against Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander, who he will oppose in Game 1.
As for Bumgarner, the last three months have been a downhill slide for the him. He finished the regular season on a terrible note, posting a plus-five ERA in his final seven starts, and thus far, the same trend has continued in the playoffs. With that said, Bochy pinned his young lefty as his Game 2 starter, praying that the flaws he smoothed out in a bullpen session will deliver better results. Although, the southpaw hasn’t pitched in a real game since October 14th, and fatigue still seems to be a factor. Simply, his effectiveness is seemingly a big question mark.
If the Tigers follow suit by struggling against left-handers, than the Giants could get an early lead on them with home field advantage in their back pocket. Obviously, this wouldn’t play in the Tigers’ advantage.
The Giants Could Put Them Away Early
In three straight games against the St.Louis Cardinals in the NLCS, the Giants scored first, which inevitably led to three straight wins to complete an improbable comeback. Obviously scoring first doesn’t guarantee a win by any stretch of the imagination, but with the Giants, it surely seems like it does. And for the Tigers, this simple trend won’t bode them well in the World Series.
During the regular season, the Tigers went 23-65 if they were trailing after two full innings. Part of the reason why that record is dreadful, is due to the fact that the Tigers do most of their scoring in the first inning. Basically, if the Giants prevent the Tigers from crafting a scoring-happy first inning, than they should be in good shape, at least that’s what the stats show.
On the flip-side, during the regular season, the Giants averaged 0.74 runs in the first inning alone, their highest total out of all nine innings including the few extra innings. While they score the most in the first inning, they also give up most of their runs in the first inning, as they surrendered an average of 0.54 runs in the first three outs.
By: Baily Deeter
The San Francisco Giants are a very, very resilient team, and that’s why they are in the World Series. But can they really win the World Series when they are facing the Detroit Tigers?
Detroit has some flaws, but it seems like they are a perfect team. Why? Because their starting pitching put up a sparkling 1.02 ERA in the postseason, because they have the best pitcher on the planet, the Triple Crown winner, and Prince Fielder.
In a down year, the lefty slugger hit .289 off of lefties while posting a .313 batting average and .412 OBP. So, it’s safe to say that the Tigers have a good offense, capped off by Austin Jackson, who hit over .300 during the regular season, and Delmon Young, who won ALCS MVP honors. Then they have Miguel Cabrera, who became the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years.
Oh, and they have that guy, Justin Verlander. Heard of him? Hopefully.
Now that you know the Tiger stars, here’s a complete breakdown about why Detroit will win the World Series.
Detroit’s pitching was incredible during the ALCS, as all of their four starters went into the sixth and allowed less than two earned runs, with a 3-0 record and three quality starts.
Verlander put up a 2.64 ERA and 17 wins in a down year, Sanchez had a 3.86 ERA, Fister is 18-11 with a 2.95 ERA in 1.5 years with the Tigers, and Scherzer posted two decent playoff starts and an ERA well under 4.00. Detroit’s rotation swallowed up New York’s offense, and the bullpen did as well (from Games 2-4.)
Fister twirled six scoreless innings with poor stuff, as he worked out of trouble constantly. Scherzer, a great strikeout pitcher, has had his way while allowing just one earned run in 11 playoff innings.
Oh, and Sanchez? He has allowed two earned runs in over 13 innings of postseason work, twirling a seven inning shutout in Game 2 of the ALCS.
There’s no doubt Detroit’s pitching staff has been incredible, and facing a Giants lineup composed of Marco Scutaro, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence, three right-handed hitters with prime position in the batting order, should help. Expect the Giants to struggle with Detroit’s pitching and get mowed down by Detroit’s incredible staff.
Triple Crown Winner and 214 Million Man
214 million man and Triple Crown winner, or Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera, are mighty hard to stop.
Both can hit any given pitch into the seats, both draw lots of walks, both hit for high averages, and both are great hitters. Fielder has struggled in the postseason, but he should come to life against righties like Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain. Barry Zito and Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco’s two lefties, aren’t exactly dominant, either.
Cabrera will start against a soft-tossing lefty in Barry Zito and a struggling lefty in Madison Bumgarner, which is scary for San Francisco. They can’t pitch around the man who led the AL in batting average, homers and RBI, because they will then have to deal with the wrath of Fielder.
Having Fielder behind Cabrera allows him to see better pitches to hit, and having the red-hot Delmon Young, fresh off winning ALCS MVP with a .353 batting average in the series, behind Fielder will help the big slugger. Detroit scored the 12th most runs in baseball this year, and expect them to continue their offensive assault (they averaged 4.8 runs per game in the ALCS, capped off by an eight-run barrage in Game 4).
Justin Verlander had a 2.64 ERA in a down year, and Barry Zito had a 4.15 ERA in an up year. Verlander has an 0.61 ERA in his last seven starts, and an ERA under 0.74 in the playoffs (with a 3-0 record.) So, it’s safe to say Detroit has the upper hand in two World Series games, when Zito and Verlander face off.
Bumgarner, he of the 11.25 ERA and 0-2 record in the playoffs, will start Game 2 against Fister, who has a 1.38 ERA in two playoff starts, something that makes the matchup seem like a potential mismatch (which it is.)
Sanchez won a game against the Giants this year with the Marlins, throwing seven strong innings while allowing one earned run and beating Ryan Vogelsong. Scherzer will be fully rested and injury-free, and he, and the rest of the Tiger rotation, will have a capable offense behind them.
They got 11 hits off of Yankee ace C.C Sabathia, while Sabathia got just 11 outs. Jhonny Peralta and Omar Infante stepped up, while Andy Dirks, who hit .322 in the regular season, will step up. Avisail Garcia will have a chance too, as he has been a pleasant surprise since his September call-up.
People think the Tigers may lose because of their bullpen, but in all honesty, it’s not that bad. New closer Phil Coke tossed over seven scoreless postseason innings, recording two saves along the way (and blowing none.) Al Albuquerque posted an 0.68 regular season ERA and did nothing to harm that in the postseason.
Drew Smyly has thrown over three scoreless innings, while Joaquin Benoit is still a capable setup man. And Jose Valverde? Well, he did convert all 49 of his save opportunities last year. Just saying.
Detroit is the complete team, and they have proved that they aren’t all about Justin Verlander. Cabrera and Fielder are incredible, while Detroit has talent to round out the rest of the lineup. The rotation is spectacular, the bullpen isn’t all that bad, and they have an experienced, knowledgable manager in Jim Leyland.
So, what will that all mean? It means Detroit will win the World Series this year.