It’s do or die time, as the World Series begins Wednesday night with the Detroit Tigers traveling to face the San Francisco Giants.
This should be a great ending to one of the most exciting postseasons in Major League history.
The Tigers have relied on their hitting throughout the season, while the Giants have been riding their pitching staff’s back all year.
Both teams definitely have what it takes to win the series, but to go in depth, here are some of the strengths of each team.
The Detroit Tigers:
Detroit has not won a World Series since 1984. The Tigers are looking to rebound from their last World Series appearance when they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-1, in 2006. The Tigers became World Series contenders at the beginning of the season when they made one of the biggest free agent acquisitions, with the signing of 1st basemen Prince Fielder.
Happy to be in Detroit, Fielder put up his best batting average of his career, with a .313 average, to go along with his 30 homeruns and 108 RBI.
The Tigers main production comes from starting pitcher Justin Verlander, and 3rd baseman Miguel Cabrera.
Verlander, the 2011 Cy Young Award winner, had just as great of a season this year, and is arguably the most dominant pitcher in baseball today.
Miguel Cabrera, on the other hand, went ridiculous this season, as he became the first player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, to win the Triple Crown.
Leading the American League with a .330 batting average, 44 homeruns, and 139 RBI, will likely win the American League MVP award.
Detroit has also had contributions from some non household names, such as left fielder/DH and ALCS MVP Delmon Young, rookie left fielder Andy Dirks, pitcher Max Scherzer, and closer Jose Valverde.
The Tigers lineup top to bottom will definitely give the Giants’ pitching problems, but it will all come down to their pitching to contain the hot hitting Giants as of late.
The San Francisco Giants:
The Giants, on the other hand, are looking to win their second World Series in three years.
Winning it all in 2010, the Giants have been relying on their starting pitching staff all season, as they compiled a team ERA of 3.68 during the regular season, which was the fifth best in the National League.
The Giants pitching staff is anchored by right hander Matt Cain, who is in the running for the NL Cy Young award. Cain will not be the only starting pitcher contributing to the action.
With the consistent play of veteran left handers Barry Zito, Madison Bumgarner, and right hander Ryan Vogelsong, they have picked up the slack for former ace of the club, RHP Tim Lincecum.
Lincecum, a back-to-back Cy Young award winner in 2008 and 2009, has had his worst season of his career, going only 10-15, with a 5.18 ERA.
On the offensive side, key acquisitions were made, as the Giants acquired right fielder Hunter Pence, and 2nd basemen Marco Scuturo.
Led by catcher Buster Posey, who won the National League batting title this year, who also played an important role in the 2010 World Series, have some great young experienced players.
Other key players to watch are 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval, outfielder Angel Pagan, shortstop Brandon Crawford, and 1st basemen Brandon Belt.
The key factor to winning this series for the Giants is if their bats stay hot to keep up with their pitchers facing a tough Detroit lineup.
Considering in the last 10 years, a World Series has only gone a full seven games twice, I believe this series will go six games.
As a die-hard Los Angeles Dodgers fan, I hate to say this, but the Giants will win this World Series.
Championships are won by the team with the most momentum.
The Giants, after winning a record six straight games when facing elimination, can’t be stopped.
Home field advantage is always beneficial, and I believe that the atmosphere in San Francisco will be too hard to overcome for the Tigers.