One more round of predictions
Welp, I couldn’t have gotten the LCSs much more wrong, so the less said about that, the better. The thing about hitting is that it’s hard, and so sometimes even great hitting teams get shut down.
So maybe it’s a good thing that I just don’t feel like I have much read on the World Series. I like the Giants’ overall lineup, 1-8 or 1-9, a little more than the Tigers’ — but not a lot more. I like the Tigers’ best hitters, Jackson/Cabrera/Fielder, more than I like any three hitters the Giants have to offer. I like the Tigers’ rotation more, but their defense a lot less. I like the Giants’ bullpen more.
In the end, I think one really important thing is to remember the big picture, to look at what these two teams actually are, rather than getting caught up in what they’ve looked like over the past week or two. Remember, Detroit needed some serious effort to get past Oakland; it’s not like the Tigers are a 100-win team that steamrolled through the first two rounds. As I mentioned in my DS previews, I understand the pull of the Tigers — best hitter, best pitcher, impressively top-heavy roster. But I also still have the same concerns about them that I have all along, most notably the bullpen and the defense.
One way this series could look at lot different is if the pitching orders were different, and I do feel the Giants are making a mistake by going with Vogelsong instead of Cain for Games 3 and potentially 7. But I’d also rather have Max Scherzer in those games for the Tigers, so it’s kind of a wash. If either club were exploiting the other in 3/7, it would alter my take. They’re not.
I think the Giants take at least one late-inning win that they shouldn’t get, and I think they get some runs they shouldn’t get on balls the Tigers don’t catch. Justin Verlander is tremendous, and the DET lineup core is very impressive. But I think the Giants are a more complete team. I think we’re coming back here to San Francisco next week, and I think the series ends with home fans celebrating.
Without a whole lot of conviction, Giants in 7.