The 2012 Major League Baseball season has been narrowed down to the two final teams and by the end of it all, one will be left standing. Two historic franchises will be playing in the World Series with the right to have earned the title “champion” when it’s all said and done. The American League will be represented by the Detroit Tigers who will be making their first World Series appearance since 2006, a series that they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. While the National League will be represented by the San Francisco Giants who last appeared in the World Series in 2010, winning it all against the Texas Rangers.
Detroit Tigers vs. San Francisco Giants
These two teams have been led down two completely different roads to reach the 2012 World Series and get where they are at the current moment. The Detroit Tigers have reached this pinnacle by playing a single elimination game and that was against the Oakland Athletics in Game 5 of the American League Division Series. Since then the Tigers have gone 5-0 and swept the New York Yankees in 4 games to reach the 2012 World Series in a pretty easy fashion.
Then you have the San Francisco Giants who have reached the 2012 World Series by playing six elimination games throughout the entire postseason. San Francisco was down 2-0 to Cincinnati in the National League Division Series and on the brink of elimination when they came back to win the next three games advancing to the National League Championship Series. In the NLCS against St. Louis they once again made a comeback as they were down 3-1 and on the brink of elimination until they won the next three elimination games to reach the 2012 World Series. The Giants appear to have a “flare for the dramatic” as they continue to dodge elimination and keep playing for the right to win their 2nd World Series Championship in three years.
When you match these two teams up there are some similarities and there are some very large contrasts between the two. For instance when comparing bullpens you have to give the San Francisco Giants the edge over Detroit because there are just way too many question marks for the American League Champions at the moment and many believe that a bullpen is the solid foundation to winning a Championship. Then when you look at each team’s lineup Detroit is above & beyond more powerful in driving in and/or manufacturing runs then the San Francisco Giants are. When you have two powerful hitters, Miguel Cabrera & Prince Fielder in your lineup, you have an immediate edge against any opponent.
As for starting rotations I have to give the Detroit Tigers the edge as well because this team has a legitimate ace in Justin Verlander. Go back to the last three World Series Champions and each of those teams had an ace who was “dealing” in the Postseason. In 2009 it was CC Sabathia who was dominant in Postseason play, in 2010 it was ironically enough Tim Lincecum for the Giants and in 2011 Chris Carpenter became a Postseason legend for the St. Louis Cardinals. Verlander has had that type of performance thus far for the Detroit Tigers in the Postseason and can help carry this team to winning a World Series title, aces have stepped up big for the last three Postseasons and I certainly see that happening again in 2012.
Now no disrespect to Matt Cain but I don’t know if I can legitimate give him the nod as the Giants “ace” at this moment because Tim Lincecum should be but Cain has filled in at that role just by process of elimination and fantastic pitching performances throughout the season. Cain spent most of his career as a #2 starter in the Giants rotation, a position that he flourished in while Tim Lincecum carried this staff, especially in 2010 when they won the World Series. It appears that at best we could see Cain start Game 3 in Detroit and by that point the series could be out of reach for the Giants since ace Justin Verlander gets the Game 1 nod.
From a managerial standpoint there is no manager who is better then the other. Jim Leyland and Bruce Bochy are two World Series winning managers & the best in Baseball. Each knows how to manage and win or lose in a World Series. There is no edge for either team because both managers are quite simply brilliant Baseball minds.
So when it comes to predictions for the 2012 World Series I have to go with the American League Champion Detroit Tigers winning the series in six games, bringing the World Series Championship back to the American League for the first time since 2009. Despite the layoff Detroit is a hard team to bet against because they have an ace in Justin Verlander who is pitching in his prime while they have a MVP caliber player in Miguel Cabrera who is hitting in his prime. San Francisco doesn’t really have those two intangibles but has a solid team one through nine in the lineup and one through four in the rotation. It’s going to be a fun series to watch and one that won’t surprise me if it goes the six games I predicted.
Prediction: Tigers win series 4-2
I just want to take the time out to thank everyone who has read my blogs that last couple of weeks as I previewed and predicted the MLB Postseason. Whether you enjoyed my blogs or enjoyed mocking my predictions, thank you for taking the time out to read each of them. Many thanks to Eric Gargiulo for giving me the opportunity to cover the MLB Postseason yet again for CamelClutchBlog.com, a position I have proudly held since 2009. For more of my work check out my NFL Weekly recaps every Tuesday here at CamelClutchBlog.com!
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