The San Francisco Giants have won six elimination games this postseason. They just came back from a 3-1 deficit in the NLCS, becoming only the 12th team to come back and win a seven-game series after falling back that far. They have been-there-done-that in the postseason, have a winning manager, the hottest hitter in baseball and the NL MVP (Yes I can see the future).
However, if you go to Vegas or watch any sports station, you will see that the Giants are big underdogs. The Detroit Tigers have the best arm in the planet Just Verlander and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera leading them into San Francisco. If you like star power then root for the Tigers, but if you like mean, grind it out baseball, root for the Giants.
One team just dominated the New York Yankees and the other has been the champions of come backs this postseason. Now, here are five reasons the San Francisco Giants will win their second World Series in three seasons.
Defense played a huge role in the Cardinals collapse against the Giants in the NLCS. The Giants had an edge over the Cardinals on the defensive side of the ball, but have an even bigger edge over the Tigers. From infield to the outfield, the Giants have a much better defense than the Tigers.
We all know that Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder get paid to hit, not for their defense. The Tigers biggest disadvantage will be playing Delmon Young in left field every game at AT&T Park. The Giants have Gregor Blanco who has tons of range to go with his speed and a solid arm. Delmon Young is a different story. If it rains or the wind picks up in San Francisco, Young could be running circles in the outfield.
2. Speed and Small Ball
The Giants run much better than the Tigers. According to FanGraphs, the Giants were the ninth-best baserunning team in baseball, compared to the Tigers coming in at 26. Bruce Bochy will have his men running and playing a little small ball too.
With a contact hitter like Marco Scutaro batting second, the Giants can utilize the hit-and-run perfectly. Oh, and the Giants stole twice as many bags as the Tigers did. They have to upper hand in this category by a long shot.
Brian Wilson’s beard is certainly missed, but Sergio Romo’s will do just fine. Phil Coke has taken over the closer’s role for the Tigers and Jose Valverde has not pitched since Game 1 of the ALCS. Coke has done a fine job, but it makes the rest of Detroit’s bullpen too thin. This puts a lot of pressure on the Tigers’ starters and if the Giants can knock one out early, they have a good chance of winning.
The Giants on the other hand, have a very strong bullpen. The Giants have a solid combination of righties and lefties in the pen to counter with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. In the ninth, Romo has been dominant. With a frisbee slider that seems un-hittable at times, Romo has been perfect in the closer role. The Giants have much more options are plenty deep enough in the bullpen.
4. Contact vs Power
We all know the Detroit Tigers have power. When you have Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the same lineup, there’s going to be fireworks. The two teams have much different styles of offense. The Tigers are power and the Giants are contact. This could bode well for the Giants.
The Giants have showed that they will attack pitchers early in the count and use their contact approach. The Giants made contact 81.4 percent of the time this year, which ranked fourth in baseball. Marco Scutaro led all of baseball by making contact 95.4 percent of the time. That is an amazing stat and quite impressive. The Tigers have two great strikeout pitchers in Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, but if the Giants stay with their approach, they can take advantage of the Detroit’s weak defense.
5. You cannot count the Giants out of a series
No matter what the series is at, do not count the Giants out. Being down 0-2 in a best-of-five series? No big deal. How about a 3-1 deficit in the NLCS? Keep trying. Yeah, the Giants know what it takes and they have the momentum going in this series. The Tigers may have enjoyed a nice little vacation, but the Giants enjoyed fighting to the brink of elimination and coming back even more.
So, how else could this series end except for the Giants winning in seven games? That is how the Giants have done it and they will continue the torture, but even bigger celebrations.