World Series preview: Detroit Tigers vs. San Francisco Giants


There is something about the style and the look of that old “D” that has been across the chests of Detroit Tigers’ players for generations. It’s a thing of beauty. The reality of the Tigers going to the World Series did not actually set in after the final out of the American League Championship Series was recorded. Actually, it finally hit me when I purchased a new Tigers hat with the World Series patch on it.

There was something about seeing a fresh Tigers hat with World Series on the side that just seemed so right. And, when I put it on for the first time it was like no hat had fit better in my life.

It was almost like deja vu for Tigers fans everywhere as the Tigers waited to see who they were going to face in the World Series. In 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals were involved in a long battle in the NLCS as they battled the New York Mets through seven games. The Cardinals ultimately won and went on to beat the Tigers in five games. This year the San Francisco Giants came back for the second straight series to lock up their second World Series appearance in three years.

Now that we know the Tigers are going to traveling to the Bay Area for game one. Lets take a look at how these two teams stack up…

Pitching: The Tigers’ pitching has been the best staff in the Postseason. During the previous series against the New York Yankees, Tigers’ starters were greedy when it came to giving up runs, in only allowing two the whole series. The Tigers’ ace, Justin Verlander, had won every game he has taken the mound. Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, and Anibal Sanchez have all been equally as impressive as Verlander.

The Giants have had only four quality starts all postseason from their starters. Matt Cain pitched his first good game of the postseason in the crucial game seven. Ryan Vogelsong has been the true hero of the Giants’ rotation. In the playoffs, Vogelsong has posted a 2-0 record with a 1.29 ERA. After Cain and Vogelsong that is when the Giants’ staff gets a bit iffy.

Tim Lincecum had done good work out of the pen, but got lit up in his lone start of the playoffs. Madison Bumgarner has had a postseason to forget. In his only start he lasted 3 2/3 innings and was tagged for eight runs.  Barry Zito pitched a gem in his only playoff start, but who knows how he will fare against the Tigers’ lineup.

Advantage: Without a doubt the Tigers. Four starters all pitching quality baseball every time on the mound.

Offense: It doesn’t even need to be said who the Tigers’ lineup features. The Triple Crown winner in Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Austin Jackson, and recently hot hitters like Jhonny Peralta and Delmon Young. The Tigers’ offense has been average during the playoffs. The only game they tore the cover off the ball was game four of the ALCS. But when you have that dynamic of a pitching staff, three or four runs a game is more then a enough to win.

Two words: Marco Scutaro. If there is one person you want to avoid in the Giants line up, it’s him. Scutaro hit .500 in the NLCS on his way to claiming MVP honors in the series. Pablo Sandoval has also been hot as well. Hunter Pence and Buster Posey have been held in check so far, but are great hitters, too.

Advantage: Really no question the Tigers’ lineup has more power and has the ability to put up runs with anyone. But, you cannot sleep on the Giants offense or take them too lightly. In the last three games of the NLCS, the Giants outscored the Cardinals 20 to 1.

Bullpen: Every pitcher not named Jose Valverde or Joaquin Benoit has not given up a run coming out of the bullpen. Phil Coke has seemed to fit right into the closer role. And the rest of the Tigers’ have pitched well, too. The big question is going to be: Is Jose Valverde going be used? Can Joaquin Benoit keep the ball in the yard? It’s going to be interesting to see how Manger Jim Leyland handles the two.

The Giants’ bullpen has been nothing short of outstanding. With guys like Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt,  and Santiago Casilla, their bullpen as been flat out one of the best.

Advantage: Giants have the better bullpen without a doubt. These guys do no give up late leads and will lock down close games.

Who wins? Tigers in six. With how good the starters have been, and if the Tigers offense can play like they did in game four of the ALCS, it will be the first time since 1984 the Tigers will have a World Series Championship. It will be a tough battle for the Tigers. The Giants are 5-0 this year in elimination games, and have all the momentum going into this Series. It’s should be a great World Series, not only from an entertainment perspective, but also for the game of baseball.




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