The 2012 World Series matchup is set, with the San Francisco Giants emphatically closing out the NLCS with a 9-0 win Monday night.
Awaiting the National League champions are the sizzling-hot Detroit Tigers. Fresh off a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees, the Tigers have a championship on their minds. With a stellar rotation and a dangerous duo in the heart of their lineup, they have what it takes to realize those aspirations.
San Francisco won three straight to overcome the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games, setting the stage for an epic World Series.
Both teams enter with a ton of momentum, and both have recent postseason experience. This series promises to be competitive, and anything less than six games would be surprising.
Let's preview this series and tell you where to watch and who to watch for on each team.
Schedule courtesy of MLB.com
| Game 1: Detroit at San Francisco ||Wed. Oct 24||8:07 p.m. ET|
| Game 2: Detroit at San Francisco ||Thu. Oct. 25||8:07 p.m. ET|
|Game 3: San Francisco at Detroit||Sat. Oct. 27||8:07 p.m. ET|
|Game 4: San Francisco at Detroit||Sun. Oct 28||8:15 p.m. ET|
|*Game 5: San Francisco at Detroit||Mon. Oct. 29||8:07 p.m. ET|
| *Game 6: Detroit at San Francisco ||Wed. Oct 31||8:07 p.m. ET|
| *Game 7: Detroit at San Francisco ||Thu. Nov. 1||8:07 p.m. ET|
*Will change depending on location (DH)
1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Andy Dirks, RF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Alex Avila, C
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Omar Infante, 2B
9. Starting Pitcher
Detroit's lineup holds the same structure most of the time, with Quintin Berry likely taking over left field when games move back to Detroit. Other possible changes could include Gerald Laird behind the plate and Avisail Garcia in the outfield.
San Francisco's pitching will have its hands full. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder must always be feared, along with Delmon Young's proven bat in October.
1. Angel Pagan, CF
2. Marco Scutaro, 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
4. Buster Posey, C
5. Hunter Pence, RF
6. Brandon Belt, 1B
7. Gregor Blanco, LF
8. Brandon Crawford, SS
9. Starting Pitcher
The Giants have racked up 29 hits in their last three games combined. Marco Scutaro hit .500 in the NLCS, leading the way for a star-less lineup.
No clear-cut candidate for DH exists on the bench, but Hector Sanchez and Aubrey Huff would make sense depending on who is on the mound. Huff's experience could pay dividends in a spot at-bat or two.
Game 1: Justin Verlander
Game 2: Anibal Sanchez
Game 3: Doug Fister
Game 4: Max Scherzer
Detroit's one-two punch is as good as anyone's, with Verlander going in Game 1 and Scherzer waiting patiently for Game 4. Both right-handers have been lights out in October, which will test the scorching-hot Giants lineup.
If Fister and Sanchez can do their jobs as well, Detroit will be very tough to score on. However, a shaky bullpen could provide late-game dramatics.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 9:35 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, manager Bruce Bochy has set his rotation for the World Series.
Here it is:
Game 1: Barry Zito
Game 2: Madison Bumgarner
Game 3: Ryan Vogelsong
Game 4: Matt Cain
---End of update---
Barry Zito will start Game 1 of the World Series, as Asocciated Press writer Janie McCauley reported via Twitter.
In a shocking development, the Giants have decided to go with Madison Bumgarner in Game 2 according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Yup. Bochy says Bumgarner gets Game 2.— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) October 24, 2012
*Rotation order after Game 2 is TBD. These are the other likely starters in no particular sequence.
The Giants have the pitching to match up with Detroit, assuming Cain throws like he did Monday night. Vogelsong was completely dominant in Game 6, and Zito wasn't much worse in Game 5.
Lincecum is the x-factor. If he can throw like he has out of the bullpen for most of the postseason, San Francisco has the arms to match Verlander and Scherzer. Also, its bullpen is better with Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt closing out games.