2012 World Series Preview: Tigers vs. Giants

For the 1st time in their 100 plus year history, the Tigers and Giants are facing off in the 2012 World Series.  The Tigers were a popular preseason pick and the Giants overcame the loss of a MVP caliber hitter to get to the Fall Classic.  I’m going to break down each position and give you my pick on who has the edge in the matchups.

FIRST BASE
PRINCE FIELDER BRANDON BELT
AVG HR RBI OPS AVG HR RBI OPS
.313 30 108 .940 .275 7 56 .781
Brandon Belt is an up and coming first baseman in the N.L., but Fielder ranks with Votto and Pujols as one of the best in the game.  Belt has a decided advantage in the field, but that is it.  What Fielder lacks in defense and base running, he makes up for in getting on base and driving in runs.
EDGE:  TIGERS by a lot
SECOND BASE
OMAR INFANTE MARCO SCUTARO
AVG HR RBI OPS AVG HR RBI OPS
.274 12 53 .719 .306 7 74 .753
 NLCS MVP is playing better than anyone for the Giants right now and is looking to keep that momentum in the WS.  Neither are + defenders or swing heavy bats, but they won’t hurt you.
EDGE:  GIANTS by a slight margin
SHORT STOP
JHONNY PERALTA BRANDON CRAWFORD
AVG HR RBI OPS AVG HR RBI OPS
.239 13 63 .668 .248 4 45 .653
 Peralta is a solid fielder and can give you pop from the bat.  He hasn’t had the power number that he did earlier in his career, but he is not a liability.  Crawford is a great defender and seems to git hits when the time is right.  He is my Dark Horse WS MVP candidate.
EDGE:  GIANTS slightly

THIRD BASE
MIGUEL CABRERA PABLO SANDOVAL
AVG HR RBI OPS AVG HR RBI OPS
.330 44 139 .999 .283 12 63 .789
 I love the Kung Fu Panda, but he is outmatched here.  Miguel Cabrera won the A.L. Triple Crown and his the unquestioned best hitter in baseball.  The Panda does have an edge on the defensive side.
EDGE:  Without a doubt the TIGERS
CATCHER
ALEX AVILA BUSTER POSEY
AVG HR RBI OPS AVG HR RBI OPS
.243 9 48 .736 .336 24 103 .957
 Comparing Avila to Posey is even more of a mismatch than the Cabrera/Sandoval comparison.  The next N.L. MVP is the leader of this team and has complete control over a game.
EDGE:  Huge GIANTS edge
RIGHT FIELD
ANDY DIRKS HUNTER PENCE
AVG HR RBI OPS AVG HR RBI OPS
.322 8 35 .857 .253 24 104 .743
 Pence helped the Giants get over the loss of Melkey Cabrera, but he has done little to make them strong.  Dirks on the other hand had a breakout 2012 and looks to be a strong young player for the Tigers.
EDGE:  TIGERS big
LEFT FIELD
QUINTIN BERRY GREGOR BLANCO
AVG HR RBI OPS AVG HR RBI OPS
.258 2 29 .684 .244 5 34 .676
Neither player has a great bat, but Berry’s speed gives him the edge in the field and on the bases.
EDGE:  TIGERS slightly
CENTER FIELD
AUSTIN JACKSON ANGEL PAGAN
AVG HR RBI OPS AVG HR RBI OPS
.300 16 66 . .275 7 56 .781
 Jackson stepped out and became one of the game’s best CF.  He hits, he defends and he moves great on the bases.  Pagan has been having a solid run, but Jackson owns him.
EDGE:  TIGERS by a mile
DH/BENCH (GAMES IN DETROIT)
DELMON YOUNG HECTOR SANCHEZ
AVG HR RBI OPS AVG HR RBI OPS
.267 18 74 .707 .280 3 34 .685
 Young and Sanchez are going to DH in the games in Detroit and Tigers have the edge.  They have the deeper bench than the Giants do also.
EDGE:  TIGERS
STARTING PITCHING
JUSTIN VERLANDER MADISON BUMGARNER
ERA W K WHIP ERA W K WHIP
2.64 17 239 1.06 3.37 16 191 1.11
 Verlander is the key to this series for the Tigers.  If he comes out and does his job, the Tigers have 2-3 guaranteed wins.  The key pitcher for the Giants has to be Bumgarner.  If he can pitch a good Game 2, then the Giants can have a 1-1 series tie when they move to Detroit and get Cain.  The Giants need big pitching to have a shot, but getting runs against Verlander will be tough.
EDGE:  TIGERS by Verlander’s right arm
RELIEF PITCHING
PHIL COKE SERGIO ROMO
ERA S K WHIP ERA S K WHIP
4.00 1 51 1.64 1.79 14 63 .85
 With Valverde’s troubles and the uncertainty of the Tigers pen, the Giants get the edge here.  Romo has been lights out and he gives the Giants a closing force.  Affeldt and Mota give the Giants even more pitching depth and it looks like Lincecum will be in the pen also.
EDGE:  GIANTS with depth

Baseball is the one sport were the numbers mean so much and the numbers also don’t mean a thing when the pitches start coming.  One bad pitch can change a series and swing the momentum to the underdog’s favor.  That being said, I think the Tigers have too many strengths for the Giants to beat them in a 7 game series.

PREDICTION:  DETROIT TIGERS IN 5 GAMES

World Series MVP:  Justin Verlander with a game 1 and game 5 win.

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2 thoughts on “2012 World Series Preview: Tigers vs. Giants

  1. I’m hoping for a 4 game sweep by either team so we can start to focus on football and basketball for the next few months!

    • Why are you a rush to watch those Bobcats? Lakers over Heat in 6 games is my preseason pick. Lebron MVP of league.

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