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2012 World Series Preview: Detroit Tigers vs San Francisco Giants

Detroit: 88-74; 1st in AL Central
San Francisco: 94-68; 1st in NL West

Schedule – 8 PM, EST; FOX
Game 1: Oct. 24: Justin Verlander (17-8, 2.64) at Barry Zito (15-8, 4.15)
Game 2: Oct. 25: Doug Fister (10-10, 3.45) at Madison Bumgarner (16-11, 3.37)
Game 3: Oct. 27: Anibal Sanchez (9-13, 3.86 vs Ryan Vogelsong (14-9, 3.37)
Game 4: Oct. 28: Max Scherzer (16-7, 3.74) vs Matt Cain (16-5, 2.79)
Game 5*: Oct. 29: DET vs SF
Game 6*: Oct. 31: DET at SF
Game 7*: Nov. 1: DET at SF

Rosters

Rotation: D. Fister, A. Sanchez, M. Scherzer, J. Verlander.

Bullpen: A. Albuquerque, J. Benoit, P. Coke (CL), O. Dotel, R. Porcello, D. Smyly, J. Valverde.

Catchers: A. Avillia, G. Laird.

Infield: M. Cabrera, P. Fielder, O. Infante, J. Peralta, R. Santiago, D. Worth.

Outfield: Q. Berry, A. Dirks, A. Garcia, A. Jackson, D. Kelly, D. Young (DH).

Rotation: M. Bumgarner, M. Cain, R. Vogelsong, B. Zito.

Bullpen: J. Affeldt, S. Casilla, G. Kontos, T. Lincecum, J. Lopez, J. Mijares, G. Mota, S. Romo (CL).

Catchers: B. Posey, H. Sanchez

Infield: J. Arias, B. Belt, J. Crawford, A. Huff, P. Sandoval, M. Scutaro, R. Theriot.

Outfield: G. Blanco, X. Nady, A. Pagan, H. Pence.

Road to the Fall Classic
Tigers: The Tigers were taken to the distance in the NLDS by Oakland, but a stout performance by Justin Verlander led them past the A’s in Game 5.

Detroit rode that momentum into the ALCS where they absolutely dominated the Yankees. They swept New York, winning by a combined score of 19-6, holding the Yankees to only two runs total through Game 2-4.

Detroit was a preseason favorite to win the World Series. Despite a slow start, the Tigers won the AL Central division, riding the offense of Triple Crown winner and MVP candidate Migues Cabrera and newly acquired Prince Fielder as well as the best pitcher in baseball in Verlander.

Giants: San Francisco was pushed to the limit in both the NLDS and NLCS. And twice, the Giants were able to win three straight games to finalize a pair of comeback wins.

In the NLDS, the Giants quickly fell to 0-2 to the Reds. But after a comeback in the Game 3, the Giants were able to take 4 and 5 to go back to the NLCS. Then the 2010 World Champs pulled off a comeback after falling 3-1 to the Cardinals, dominating the reigning champions in Games 5-7.

Matt Cain has fueled the pitching while guys like Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong have been solid surprises during the post season. On the offensive, Buster Posey is an NL MVP candidate while Pablo Sandoval has been San Francisco’s best post season performer.

Prediction: Pitching is going to favor Detroit in this series strictly on matchups alone. They will have Verlander fresh and ready for Game 1, facing Barry Zito in what looks like Game 1 and Game 5 (if necessary) and possibly have him fresh to relieve in Game 7 (projected starter is Sanchez).

Offense also favors the Tigers, who have two dangerous power hitters in Fielder and Cabrera. Jhonny Peralta has been the top offensive producer for the Tigers through two rounds, batting .343 with two homers and three RBIs.

But what’s going to help the Giants is the fact they are still rolling. The Giants will have had only one off day while Detroit will have sat at home for almost a week. Granted Tigers manager Jim Leyland has had the team playing against live competition during their down time, it still isn’t the same.

The Giants are a slouch this season, and won’t take anyone by surprise like they did in 2010 with a mediocre offense that got hot at the right time. Posey is the best catcher in baseball and they have Pence and Sandoval to help lead an offense that has put up 53 runs in 12 games (4.4 per game) this post season.

Pitching has also been great for the Giants. But they won’t see Cain until Game 4, but will have him pitching Game 7 if it comes to it. Zito and Vogelsong have been pleasant surprises this post season.

It’s going to be an exciting World Series again. Both teams feature star-studded athletes. Both teams have been in the Fall Classic recently (Tigers lost in 2006; Giants won in 2010).

It will come down to the better team.

Tigers in 6.

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