Monday, October 25, 2010

2010 World Series: Texas Rangers vs San Francisco Giants

"All World All Sports"

-Digger's Daily-

2010 World Series Preview
Texas Rangers (90-72) vs San Francisco Giants (92-70)

Heading into 2010 regular season action the usual cast of characters were heavy favorites to reach the World Series. New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox were favored as teams to beat. Now, here we are. Texas and San Francisco won their League Championship Series and now go to battle attempting to win their first ever World Series titles.

Texas can finally celebrate. It took nearly 50 years for this franchise (formerly Washington Senators) to win their first American League pennant. 2010 post-season has been filled with firsts for Texas. Their first playoff series victory (vs Tampa Bay). First trip to ALCS (vs New York). First ALCS win. First World Series appearance. Can they win it all?

The Giants haven't won a World Series since their New York days. The 1954 champs were soon to pack up their bags and move to San Francisco in 1958. San Francisco lost all 3 previous World Series appearances.
Who will win? It's a toss up. These teams counter balance each other well.

Starting Rotation
Texas #1 starter is playoff phenom Cliff Lee. Giants counter with two time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum. They'll square off Wednesday night. Game 2 starters haven't been announced but figure to be another toss up Wilson vs Sanchez. Hunter or Lewis take on Cain. EDGE - EVEN.

Texas offense took it to Tampa Bay in ALDS and New York in the ALCS. Baseball's top hitting team (.276) sports a clutch lineup 1 through 9. Rangers smashing the ball, 22 doubles, 17 home runs, .281 team batting average. Four Series games might be played in San Francisco due to National League winning the All Star Game and securing home field advantage. Manager Ron Washington has a quandary. How to get DH Vladmir Guerrero's bat into the lineup in Games 1 & 2? (No DH in NL parks). Vlad shouldn't be viewed as a defensive liability when inserted into RF (former regular RF).
San Francisco came through with big hits in crucial situations to dethrone Philadelphia. Giants hitters found a way to produce vs Phillies star 3-man rotation (Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels). On paper, Texas is stronger. No slouch San Fran didn't get here by accident and now add a DH for at least Games 3 & 4. EDGE - RANGERS.

Rangers hold a tremendous edge in bench depth affording Washington plenty of lethal late inning replacement options. Rangers power advantage could change games on a dime. EDGE - RANGERS.

Texas committed 32 more regular season errors (105) than Giants (73) fielders. The slate is wiped clean so don't let be fooled. Texas is a very aggressive team. Rangers outfielders sport cannon arms. Range is probably even. No speedsters in either LF or RF. Around the horn Rangers have better range, arms and instincts. They're key for pitching success this series. EDGE - RANGERS.

Starting Rotation
Pitching is the key to success for both teams. It's been the Cliff Lee show for Texas. This guy turns it on when it matters most leaving hitters completely baffled. Look at these stats from 3 playoff games. 3-0, 24 innings, 13 hits, 1 walk and 34 strikeouts. Career numbers: 7-0, 1.26 ERA in 8 game starts. Good luck Giants. It's hit or miss with the rest of the Rangers rotation. Wilson, Lewis and Hunter. They can be great, adequate or get bombed. Command of the strike zone will be key.
Giants counter Cliff Lee with a star of their own. Game 1 starter is 2 time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum (2-1, 1.93). It's a classic opening game match-up worthy of every ounce of recognition.
Giants advantage comes with Sanchez and Cain who have been very tough. Cain hasn't allowed an earned run in 13.2 playoff innings. Wilson and either Lewis or Hunter will round out Rangers front 3. Wilson is tough but got roughed up vs Yankees in ALCS Game 5. Lewis and Hunter have enjoyed playoff success but take a backseat to Cain and Sanchez. EDGE - GIANTS

It's hit or miss for arms in both bullpens. Giants relievers have posted better numbers in playoff action. Rangers have been erratic. EDGE - GIANTS

Giants closer Brian Wilson is getting the job done. 5 Saves, 0.00 ERA, 9 IP, 12 K. Neftali Feliz hasn't saved any of the Rangers playoff victories as of yet thanks to great run support (non-save situations). His 100+ miles per hour fastball has been a bit erratic (5 walks in 4.2 innings). EDGE - EVEN.

From strictly a personal point of view a seven game epic World Series with each game being decided in late innings would be sensational. Two teams fighting tooth and nail over every pitch trying to earn their first World Series title. Lee vs Lincecum is one for the ages.
What I think... Who wins or loses the 2010 World Series rests squarely on Texas hitters vs San Francisco starting pitchers. Rangers bats will own the day. They might even get to Lincecum. They're hitting everything. Now, if they can get Vlad to stop swinging at dirtballs??? I'm amazed how little self discipline Guerrero brings to the batters box. In present day, and especially in World Series play swinging at crud a foot off the plate isn't going to create success. Wait for a pitch to hit Vlad.. then drill it! There's no easy out in Rangers lineup. Giants lineup doesn't bring fear to the table. However, don't take them lightly. SF seems to do just enough to win.
RANGERS in 6. 


No comments:

Post a Comment