World Series Preview: San Francisco Giants (94-68) vs Detroit Tigers (88-74)

In Playoffs, Series Previews by berselius148 Comments

The Giants have home field advantage in this series thanks to All-Star Game MVP Melky Cabrera, who was suspended for PED violations and was left off the Giants playoff roster (his 50 game suspension just ended). The Tigers have the advantage of having swept the Yankees in the previous round, which already feels like was a month ago. The Giants came back from being down 3-1 to the Cardinals, in which they got a shutdown start from Barry Zito and had pitcher RBIs in almost every win.

Team Rankings

Respective league ranks for both teams

  Tigers Giants
wRC+ 105 (3rd) 99 (4th)
BSR -10 (12th) 5.5 (6th)
UZR -28.1 (13th) 8.6 (7th)
DRS -32 (13th) -7 (8th)
SP FIP- 85 (1st) 102 (10th)
RP FIP- 90 (6th) 99 (10th)

It's pretty clear where the Tigers strengths lie. As long as Verlander, Fister, et. al continue to strike out a zillion batters, they won't have to worry too much about the shambolic defense behind them. And who would have thought that the Giants would make their way to the playoffs based on their offense, and not their pitching?

Semi-Regular lineups

wRC+ for each player listed

Tigers Giants
CF Austin Jackson (135) CF Angel Pagan (113)
LF Quintin Berry (89) 2B Marco Scutaro (137)
3B Miguel Cabrera (166) 3B Pablo Sandoval (115)
1B Prince Fielder (153) C Buster Posey (162)
DH Delmon Young (89) RF Hunter Pence (84)
SS Jhonny Peralta (86) 1B Brandon Belt (116)
RF Andy Dirks (133) LF Gregor Blanco (91)
C Alex Avila (104) SS Brandon Crawford (79)
2B Omar Infante (78)  

Both likely MVP winners face off in this series, which I'm sure tons of writers will point out as evidence that they should be MVPs, or something. The Tigers play a lot of mix and match with their corner OF spots, with Avisail Garcia and Brennan Boesch mixed in relatively regularly. Garcia is a rookie with only 51 PAs in the majors (not including playoffs).

Playoff rotations

Season FIP- listed for each pitcher

Tigers: Justin Verlander (70), Doug Fister (81), Anibal Sanchez (87), Max Scherzer (77)

Giants: Barry Zito (120), Madison Bumgarner (94), Derrek Lee (91), Ryan Vogelsong (99)

Storylines you may or may not care about

TRIPLE CROWN TRIPLE CROWN MVP TRIPLE CROWN CROWN MVP ERARAHGAHFKDHGKAHGKAHKDHFMNXMU

Did you know that Cabera won the Triple Crown this year? You will hear this approximately 10051 more times during this series.

Will the Fox cameras catch Jim Leyland smoking an entire pack of cigarettes between each inning?

In ~1 week, we won't have to hear Tim McCarver's voice for another 5 1/2 months.

In ~1 week, there won't be any more baseball for another 5 1/2 months. That is, unless you follow HP's updates of all the winter leagues down south.

Is there usually this much action before the official end of the season? I was really surprised to hear about that relatively big DBacks trade earlier this week, as well as the Red Sox hiring/trading for Farrell. There's usually a gentlemen's agreement to not conduct business during the postseason, except for maybe some PBTNL type announcements.

Did you know that Cabrera had the best AVG, RBI, and HR in the AL this year. Who knew?!

Prediction

Even if you leave out the difference in results from the previous round, it's hard not to pick the Tigers here. I'll go with Tigers in six.

 

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Comments

  1. Rizzo the Rat

    The Tigers’ line in funny. Great starting pitching, very good hitting, horrible fielding and baserunning. No surprise, but it’s pretty extreme.

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  2. WaLi

    Panda is batting 1.000/0.000/4.000 so far in the World Series (dying laughing)

    (I know hitting a HR adds to OBP but he was never on base, just passing by)

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  3. uncle dave

    By the way, Joe, “Pandoval” shirts have been available in the Giants team store for about five years (for much more than $10 a pop, of course).

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  4. Rice Cube

    @ uncle dave:
    Better to be lucky than good πŸ˜€

    I kind of like the idea of saving Verlander for another day, but the game is still early and close so it might be too early to do that just now. He looks way off though.

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  5. EnricoPallazzo

    Berselius wrote:

    There’s usually a gentlemen’s agreement to not conduct business during the postseason, except for maybe some PBTNL type announcements.

    i thought this was actually an explicit rule. didn’t the cubs get in hot water for hiring epstein before the playoffs were over last year? or am i just imagining things?

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  6. Rizzo the Rat

    @ uncle dave:
    I’m amazed they’re playing him in the outfield. I mean, I know there’s no DH, but it’s not as though his bat is good enough that they have to play him somewhere.

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  7. Rizzo the Rat

    Buster Olney:

    Delmon Young spent A LOT of time taking fly balls in LF before tonight’s game. Like a student cramming for an exam in hours before it.

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  8. uncle dave

    @ Rice Cube:
    He’s not distinguished himself at the plate, either. I’m assuming he has nude pictures of Leyland or something (which must just be terrifying).

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  9. Author
    Berselius

    EnricoPallazzo wrote:

    i thought this was actually an explicit rule. didn’t the cubs get in hot water for hiring epstein before the playoffs were over last year? or am i just imagining things?

    Bud Selig frowned at them, that was about it.

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  10. Rice Cube

    So today Bruce Levine was pontificating about the Cubs trying to acquire Josh Johnson. What would it cost to get him? Or can the Cubs just take on all the salary and give them Lendy Castillo?

    Similarly I wonder if the Cubs could swap something for Lincecum’s last year of his contract…I just don’t think Timmy is done yet.

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  11. mb21

    @ Rice Cube:
    Lincecum makes $22 million so the Giants should be happy if the Cubs would take him off their hands and give them some money. I’d be all for that if the Giants kicked in about $6-8 million, which I doubt they’d do.

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  12. mb21

    @ BVS:
    I had forgotten I read this recently: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/velocity-trends-and-pitchers-to-watch-in-2013/

    Lincecum lost nearly 2 mph in velocity this season and 91% of the pitchers who lose more than 1 mph lose an average of 1.6 mph the following year. Unless the Giants want to send the Cubs at least half of what Lincecum is being paid, I’d stay away. Even then I’d probably still stay away. He’s very likely going to get worse.

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  13. BVS

    Aisle, we have 2 cocker spaniels on our shelf that my wife hasn’t decided what to do with, even after 3-5 years. They are in plastic biohazard boxes, even though they aren’t biohazards, as far as I know. Guess we know how to do presentation in PR. πŸ™

    Anyway, ashes with plants are tricky because ashes have high pH and unless a plant (house plant?) is in acid soil, the ashes won’t help, unless added with a buffer. You can buy a buffer if you want. So if Schultz had a house plant he liked to eat, you could mix him in there.

    Alternately, it might be worth it to consider some place that may not be so symbolic of Schultz’s life, but fits in with something else important to you, or to spread him somewhere that will trigger happy memories in the future. For example, maybe there is a restaurant that has some special meaning to you and putting Schultz under the trees outside will let you say, “Hey Schultz,” whenever you have dinner there. Or a bus stop, or park bench, etc. Doesn’t have to be a fancy spot, just somewhere you pass by sometimes where Schultz can trigger a “Remember the time that Schultz did —- ” memory. Eventually those will be more common than the feeling of loss.

    You can mix ashes with concrete, so if you own your condo and are thinking about new concrete countertops, hearth, or something like this, I suppose you could mix Schultz there. We’ve never been able to keep our cat off the counters, despite our efforts. It would be appropriate in our case.

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  14. Author
    Berselius

    @ BVS:

    We buried our cocker spaniel’s ashes at my in-laws’ house with the rest of her family’s dogs. It took almost two years to do because usually the only time we’re home is at Christmas, and the ground is too frozen to dig. We’d rather have buried him back in WI but it didn’t feel right to bury him in some place that we were going to move away from in the next few months. If we could have snuck a shovel in we would have buried him at the big city dog park (his favorite place) but somehow I don’t think the city would be happy with that.

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  15. BVS

    @ mb21:
    What if SF packaged Lincecum with Chris Stratton and/or Joe Panik and no money for some C-level Cubs prospect?

    Surely Lincecum can do better than Chris Volstad did.

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  16. Rizzo the Rat

    Honestly, I’d love to see the return of the Hoyt Wilhelm-esque relief ace who throws over 100 innings a year.

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  17. WaLi

    Trivia Question: Which is greater, Panda’s reported weight or his WPA last night x 1000

    False.

    Although Panda looks like he is over 269 lbs, his reported weight is only 240, making his WPA of .269 x 1000 greater than his weight.

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  18. Rice Cube

    @ WaLi:
    Was surprised to see that Panda’s WPA was that low all things considered, but I guess Zito’s unusually good performance had a lot to do with it, plus Scutaro’s hit preceding Panda’s homer also ate up a huge chunk of WPA.

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  19. Author
    Berselius

    Players with 3 HR in a postseason game

    Babe Ruth (NYY) – Game 4, 1926 WS
    Babe Ruth (NYY) – Game 4, 1928 WS
    Bob Robertson (Pit) – Game 2, 1971 NLCS
    Reggie Jackson (NYY) – Game 6, 1977 WS
    George Brett (KC) – Game 3, 1978 ALCS
    Adam Kennedy (ANA) – Game 5, 2002 ALCS
    Adrian Beltre (Tex) – Game 4, 2011 ALDS
    Albert Pujols (StL) – Game 3, 2011 WS
    Pablo Sandoval (SF) – Game 1, 2012 WS

    One of these things is not like the other

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  20. WenningtonsGorillaCock

    akabari wrote:

    Is anyone here as knowledgeable about liquor as we all seem to be about beer? I have a question.

    Not nearly as much as beer, but throw it out there. One of us drunks probably knows the answer (dying laughing)

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  21. akabari

    Yeah for once it isn’t whiskey. Its a rum question. Last year my brother brought me some rum from then virgin islands that was incredibly spicy, kind of sweet and SUPER over proof. Like make my whole apartment reek of booze just from opening the bottle (dying laughing). Turned out to be amazing for fall punches, warm apple cider…etc. Anyone know of a good spiced over proof rum so it doesn’t taste like sugar syrup ala 151?

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  22. WenningtonsGorillaCock

    I’ve used Panama Red in warm ciders and it was pretty good. I’m not big on spiced rum, though. I’ll usually use brandy, bourbon or a smokey scotch in warm cider. Or, if I’m using rum, I’ll just pour in some cheap dark rum like Myers.

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  23. jtsunami

    Well, Everclear is the obvious answer although you probably knew that and it’s not rum. Everclear has pretty much no flavor so that is a good option if you are worried about the sugary taste of rum.

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  24. akabari

    @ jtsunami:
    Dark. Definitely dark. And ever clear, while a good idea, may kill me (dying laughing) (dying laughing)
    Also I’ve never thought of bourbon in cider. Hmm… might have to try both.
    Any other essential fall drinks?

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  25. GBTS

    @ Rice Cube:
    My friends and I still play this at parties. We don’t do the “must come to a complete stop” to drink rule though, we just mandate you cannot have your hands on your beer and your controller at the same time (one or the other). So basically any time you get hit, you pound as much beer as you can in those 2 seconds while your car is in the air. Have I mentioned that I’m almost 30?

    We also don’t have the inexplicable misogyny towards Peach either, but to each his own I guess. (dying laughing)

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  26. mikeakaleroy

    @ Rice Cube:
    It seems like those should either be filled with whiskey or be full pints of beer.

    Also, if my wife weren’t pregnant, we’d play the mario kart drinking game immediately. She always kicks my ass on Kart, but I think if she were drunk, I would still lose horribly.

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  27. Rice Cube

    @ GBTS:
    You can use some strategy on Luigi Raceway. Just shotgun the beer as fast as you can and then pedal to the metal so you don’t have to stop before the last lap to drink, right?

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  28. mb21

    @ Mish:
    He should win the gold glove too. I know a lot of Cubs fans will riot when I say this, but Barney is the best defensive 2nd baseman I’ve seen on the Cubs.

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  29. Rizzo the Rat

    To compare apples to apples, Darwin Barney’s Total Zone Rating was only 16. So, 1970 Evers > 2012 Barney.

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  30. WaLi

    @ Rice Cube:
    I just thought that was interesting. I never knew that if you get a GIDP and a run scores, you don’t get an RBI.

    Even the non-stat fags had some understanding of the RE chart. They knew that if you have a runner on 1st and 3rd with no outs or bases loaded with no outs, you should score more than one run (RE = 1.853 and 2.390 respectively) so they decided not to help the player add to the almighty R+RBI stat.

    Scoring that run actually brought down the WP by 2.5% (dying laughing)

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  31. Rice Cube

    @ WaLi:
    I looked that up after the fact and realized that Leyland made a smart decision. It’s really too bad that Fatass sucks at baserunning and the rest of the Tigers offense couldn’t do anything.

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