Well, after a month of fantastic, exciting baseball, the race for the World Series has been narrowed down to 2 teams: the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers. For the Rangers, this will be their first trip to the World Series. This post-season they have single-handedly re-written their history by winning a playoff series (2 thus far), winning more than one road game and winning their first pennant. For the Giants, it hasn’t been that long before their last appearance. They nailed down the wildcard in 2002 and wound up going to the World Series that year where they lost to the Angels. For both teams, I don’t think either one was given much of a shot at going all the way. For Texas it was a case of people thinking the West is weak and for the Giants it took them until the very last day of the season to get in. Either way they are both here and I’m sure have made some people a lot of money.
Game 1 should have a stellar pitching matchup as you’ve got two aces of the post-season butting heads (Cliff Lee for the Rangers and Tim Lincecum for the Giants). Game 2 shapes up as CJ Wilson against Matt Cain while game 3 will feature Sanchez going up against Colby Lewis. Other than Cliff Lee getting the edge of Tim Lincecum in game 1 (both have good stuff, but Lee has been lights out this post-season and has the experience to go with it) the pitching matchups will be pretty neck and neck. Where the difference will come is whether or not the power of the Rangers continues or will the grinding of the Giants batters prevail.
The Rangers come into this series batting a team .304 in the ALCS with 38 runs scored making an average of 6.33 runs per game. Make no doubt about it, the Rangers bats are RED HOT. The Giants numbers from the NLCS aren’t as impressive. They managed only a .244 for the team average and tallied only 19 times in 6 games. When you look at what the Rangers pitching staff did to the most potent offense in the majors, the New York Yankees, and combine this with the fact that they have really found their groove at the plate and we could be looking at some lopsided scores ala the ALCS in favour of the Rangers.
World Series Prediction
Make no mistake about it, the pitchers in this series are great. Because of this, you have to look elsewhere for the edge and it comes in the form of offense, which Texas holds the edge in. Despite the fact that the Giants hold home field advantage (and have been pretty good at home), the Rangers have been just as good away from Texas. They managed to take 3 wins on the road in the ALDS and took 2 of 3 in the ALCS in one of the toughest parks in the majors, Yankee Stadium. The Rangers are on fire right now and I see them taking this one in 6 games on the heels of some big offensive numbers.
My Pick: Texas Rangers -135
Written by: Allan Etmanski