Handicapping the World Series Championship Odds of Each Remaining Team
There are just four teams left that are competing for the 2012 World Series title. The St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers are all within reach of the title.
After the first two games of the ALCS and the first game of the NLCS, there have been a number of interesting developments. Injuries have already impacted teams as have poor outings from starting pitchers.
Here are the odds of winning the World Series for each of remaining teams in the postseason.
New York Yankees
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Losing the first two games of the American League Championship Series to the Detroit Tigers has obviously put the New York Yankees in a tough situation. This issue is magnified by the fact that the Yankees will not have their captain around for the rest of the series.
Derek Jeter fractured his ankle during Game 2 of the series and he will likely need surgery (h/t Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York). Without Jeter's leadership, the Yankees are in big trouble.
Throw in the struggles of Alex Rodriguez this postseason and the Yankees really need someone to step up and replace all of this lost production.
New York is facing some long odds as the series heads back to Detroit. If the Yankees cannot pick up a win in Game 3 against Justin Verlander, their postseason is almost definitely over.
San Francisco Giants
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Falling in Game 1 of the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals certainly does not help the San Francisco Giants' chances of reaching the World Series this year. With the way that the Cardinals have been playing of late, that win gave the Cardinals even more momentum and puts San Francisco in a tough spot.
Pitching is going to be key for the Giants if they are going to be able to win the NLCS and the World Series. Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong, Madison Bumgarner and either Barry Zito or Tim Lincecum are going to need to give them good starts from here on out.
San Francisco is going to continue to need to find sources of offense other than Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval if they are going to beat the Cardinals and the American League representative in the World Series.
Gregor Blanco has stepped up already this postseason, and other players will need to do the same.
St. Louis Cardinals
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After the St. Louis Cardinals' comeback in the 2011 World Series and their four-run ninth inning against the Washington Nationals in Game 5 of the NLDS this season, it is hard to count St. Louis out of anything.
This is a team with a "never say die" attitude, and that goes very far in the postseason. Cardinals players have been able to come up with timely hits on a repeated basis.
With the team seemingly heating up as the postseason goes on, the Cardinals have got to be a team to keep an eye out for throughout the rest of the playoffs. They should be the favorites in the National League this year.
St. Louis has already taken Game 1 of the NLCS from the San Francisco Giants, and they should be able to build on that performance.
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With a two-game lead in the ALCS and Justin Verlander coming to the mound for Game 3, the Detroit Tigers are in a great position to head to the World Series.
If the Tigers are able to win their series against the Yankees quickly, then it would allow them to set up their starting rotation for the World Series. Having Verlander available for Game 1 will be a huge advantage for the Tigers.
It also doesn't hurt that the Tigers have two of the best hitters in baseball in their lineup. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder are a difficult pair for opposing pitchers to deal with, and they will be the keys for the Tigers if they are going to win the World Series.