Back in 2010, the “experts” at ESPN were pretty darned sure that the Texas Rangers were going to dispatch the San Francisco Giants in the World Series with relative ease. Out of the 28 people predicting, 22 chose the Rangers, and all but five of the people picking the Rangers thought it would take Texas seven games to win their first championship.
The situation is almost identical this year, which should probably come as no surprise since the national media at large seems unwilling to let go of the (completely false) idea that the American League is far and away more talented than the National League. Plus, the Detroit Tigers beat ESPN’s beloved Yankees in four games and they have three of the four biggest stars in this series — Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.
Out of 27 “experts,” only four think the Giants will win the 2012 World Series. Of the 23 who think the Tigers will win it all, only four think it will take them seven games. Most feel that the Tigers have a strong advantage when comparing each team’s starting rotation, along with the fact that Detroit’s time off has allowed them to set up that rotation.
Sports Illustrated wasn’t quite as lopsided in terms of picking the Tigers, with six of their nine “experts” choosing Detroit. But it’s clear that most of the people paid to follow this stuff think the Giants’ magic will run out starting tonight.
What do the BASG “non-experts” think? You can probably guess that we diverged from the national guys, since we always seem to.
And be sure and comment to enter our “Predict Game 1″ contest below for a chance to win a free large pizza from Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria. Contest rules are at the end of this post.
Bay Area Sports Guy: So far in these playoffs we’ve seen Barry Zito rescue the Giants from the brink of elimination, Buster Posey’s bat go almost completely silent for seven straight games, Hector Sanchez walk twice in one game, and Tim Lincecum become one of the team’s better relief arms. Also, the Giants seem to have a knack for falling behind to the point where they need to win three in a row, then doing exactly that. So I’m going to stick with that pattern. The Giants lose Game 4 to fall behind 3-1, then make history once again. Pick: Giants in 7
East Bay Sports Guy: I’m an inveterate pessimist. As such, I abide by Murphy’s Law of Pessimism: What can go wrong will go wrong. I board planes with a very real certainty of my impeding death. I believe safe sex is more of a oxymoron than a practice. That The Big Bang Theory is the No. 1 comedy on TV suggests people are incapable of complex thought, which means Global Warming will remain unimpeded, which means we will suffer an environmental catastrophe so great that a world war will break out over the security of scarce resources.
But, perhaps what is most indicative of my pessimism is my belief that the Giant will lose the World Series. To be fair, I was certain they’d lose in 2010. I was equally certain they’d be swept by the Cincinnati Reds and beaten handily by the St. Louis Cardinals. I have obviously never died in a fiery plane crash, despite having flown dozens of times over the past few years, and I am not a father. As for the Global Warming thing, well, I guess we’ll see. Pick: Tigers in 4
Bay Area Stats Guy: I put the series into my projection model and it slightly favors the Tigers, 51% to 49%. That being said, the scenario with the highest probability is the Giants winning in seven games at 17% of the time. Looking at the individual games I imagine a split at home, the Giants winning one (maybe both) of games three and four, and then closing things out at home. That’s pretty much how the NLCS played out and it seemed to be a pretty good road map. Pick: Giants in 7
Ruthless Sports Guy: I don’t have a ton of statistics to back up this prediction; this is one of those predictions based on feelings, vibes, juju, particles – you’re choice. Do the Tigers have some bangers? Absolutely – If I were to say that I wasn’t concerned about Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder I’d be bold-face lying. Do they have some strong arms? You bet (ERHMAGEEERD), Justin Verlander will likely go twice for them and Anibal Sanchez has been lethal against the Giants.
So what? The Reds and Cardinals had hitters that could mash up and down their lineups. The Reds and the Cardinals had plenty of pitching (St. Louis was more bullpen than starting rotation, but you get the point). The Giants have grit, fight, heart, stones … you know, all those things you can’t reference with FanGraphs. I like the Giants, because this has been an unbelievable season, and it just can’t end in a World Series loss. Pick: Giants in 6
Bay Area Duck Guy: Full rest, confidence from a sweep, a Triple Crown winner and arguably the best pitcher in baseball lined up to potentially start three games in the World Series. The Tigers are feeling pretty good right now. But none of that matters to the Giants. San Francisco is 6-0 in elimination games, and rest isn’t always a good thing — just ask the 2007 Colorado Rockies, who cruised undefeated into the World Series before being swept by a Red Sox team that just finished a 7-game series with the Indians. The Giants have played the maximum amount of games possible in each postseason series so far, and they’ll do it again on the big stage. If Posey and Pence start hitting, San Francisco will be hosting its second World Series parade in three years. Pick: Giants in 7
Monday’s Amici’s Giveaway
On Monday, I asked you to predict the winner and score of Game 7 of the NLCS. Only one person predicted that the Giants would win and the two teams would combine to score 9 runs — Ruthless Sports Guy. Unfortunately for Ruthless, he is not eligible to win because he’s a BASG contributor. Don’t feel too bad for him, though. He has eaten plenty of free pizza at the last two BASG meetups and I’ve taken him out to lunch at Flipper’s on several occasions. He won’t starve.
So the winner, who actually entered only four minutes before first pitch, is Todd. He predicted that the Giants and Cardinals would combine for 8 runs with a run differential of 4, which was the closest to the actual run differential of 9 among everyone who came within 1 run of the combined total.
We’re going to do something similar to what we did on Monday for today’s Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria giveaway, with a little difference.
In the comments of this post, predict who you think will win Game 1. The winner gets a FREE LARGE PIZZA (ANY TOPPINGS) FROM AMICI’S EAST COAST PIZZERIA.
The tiebreakers will go like this.
- Team that wins
- Run differential (how much the winning team will win by)
- The combined run total for both teams
- How many innings Zito will pitch
You have until 5:07 pm (first pitch) tonight to enter. Good luck!