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.
Respective league ranks for both teams
|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?
wRC+ for each player listed
|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).
Season FIP- listed for each pitcher
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?!
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.