It is not the World Series that most predicted, or the FOX network (and probably MLB) wanted, but a Texas Rangers vs. San Francisco Giants World Series has a lot of great storylines.
One is the fact that both teams would be looking for their first World Series title in their current city.
The Rangers have never been to the World Series before and neither has their predecessor, the second Washington Senators franchise.
The Giants do have five World Series titles, but they were all won when the franchise played in New York. They have lost the three prior World Series in San Francisco during the 2002, 1989 and 1962 seasons.
Also, the best trade of the year was between the two teams, with Bengie Molina going to Texas for two nobodies. This trade allowed the Giants to bring up Buster Posey for good.
This World Series is kind of a remake of the 1982 Series between the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals. A tremendous lineup of Harvey's Wallbangers with good pitching versus a weaker lineup but with a better overall pitching staff featuring a stud closer at the back end.
Can the Giants muster enough offense to beat the Rangers?
Most people do not believe so, but then again, most did not believe they could score against the Philadelphia Phillies' Big Three either.
However the Rangers are just too deep. They have a better lineup and Cliff Lee.
Another interesting storyline for this series will be whomever the MVP is from a laundry list of potential breakout performers. Let's take a look at the top 10 most likely MVPs:
He is my dark horse to win the 2010 World Series MVP.
Kinsler made this list because of the two left handed starters for the Giants, Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner.
Kinsler is a long shot because he does not have the big name, but he did rip left-handed pitchers to a tune of .376 BA/.473 OBP/.484 SLG/.957 OPS this season.
He also had that huge series against the Tampa Bay Rays where he hit three home runs with a 1.444 OPS in the five game series.
If he gets pitched to, look for Kinsler to put up some good numbers in the 2010 World Series.
The flame-throwing right hander makes the list because with the overuse of bullpens in the postseason, closers are always in the hunt for the MVPs.
While he appeared in three games in the ALCS against the Yankees, Feliz did not earn a save. This was because the Rangers blew out the Yankees most of the games they won.
The Rangers will not score runs like that against the tougher Giants staff.
If the Rangers win the series, Feliz will get in every game to earn a save. He might even get a chance at a win in a close game.
With all the games he has pitched this season, Feliz is not a rookie anymore. He is a seasoned veteran and will perform if given the opportunity.
He is the reason they traded Bengie Molina to the Rangers earlier this season, plus the fact that Molina was terrible early on.
But that trade gave the kid a chance, and he made the best of it. He is a finalist for the Rookie of the Year voting.
Posey will get to play three games in cozy Arlington and, unless Cliff Lee throws on short rest (doubtful, as he never has), Buster will hit against the two weaker RHP of the Rangers, Colby Lewis and Tommy Hunter.
Posey hit 12 of his 18 HRs this season on the road, and 12 off of right-handed pitchers.
Look for the ROY candidate to perform well in Texas during Games 3, 4 and 5.
This year's NLCS MVP has been hot at the plate the entire postseason, and the only thing that does not bode well for him is the three-day break between series.
Why can't the World Series start Monday night, or even Tuesday if MLB doesn't want to interfere with the NFL? Why do we need so many days between the series?
Hot hitters want to play every day.
Ross will be pitched around by the lesser Rangers pitchers, and will not get many opportunities to showcase his bat.
Too bad as his bat was the only offense provided by the Giants in many of the NLCS games.
Ross gets pitched around early in the World Series then becomes impatient and begins to swing at bad pitches.
Josh Hamilton performed well in the ALCS because the Yankees were afraid of him.
When you are afraid of a hitter, you tend to think too much and do not make your best pitches. You work outside to avoid his strength and the short right field porches, then as you get behind in the count, you have to come over the plate and...
While the Yankees were afraid to pitch to him, the Tampa Bay Rays were not, and they held Hamilton to a paltry 2-for-18 effort with one RBI in the ALDS. Hamilton struck out six times in 20 plate appearances vs Tampa.
The Giants pitchers will follow Tampa's lead and will not be afraid of him. They will attack him early in the count, throw lots of breaking pitches and keep him off balance.
With the two left-handed starters, and the tremendous Javier Lopez, Hamilton will have a dreadful 2010 World Series.
Because of that, I was not even going to put Hamilton on this list but no one else on either roster thrilled me.
Great photo of Vlad, isn't it?
He has been to the post season in six of the last seven years, but this is his first World Series.
He will make the most of it. He was the best free agent signing this past off season. (It sure wasn't Jason Bay, Omar)
No matter how many bad pitches he swings at or how many times he fumbles through an at bat, he will eventually hit the ball very hard with men on base.
As David Robertson found out, a right-handed pitcher can not hand a curve ball to Guerrero.
The right handed starters of Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain need to pound Vlad inside, as I believe his bat is too slow to catch up with inside heat.
However, the lefties have to junk him away and let him get himself out.
But as I said earlier, Vlad will get his hits with men on base.
It is just a matter of not giving him too many chances with RISP by keeping the guys off base in front of him.
The man of the black beard and the 98 MPH heaters has a good chance to win the 2010 World Sereis MVP.
If the Giants win.
As with Neftali Feliz, Wilson will get the ball late in every close game.
He has already shown he can chew up four (or more) out saves, and led the majors in that category this season.
With his three saves and win in the NLCS, many thought he should have won the MVP against the Phillies.
Not bad for a 24th round draft pick.
One thing I see is that Wilson has a tough time throwing inside, especially to left-handed hitters. Every time he tried to throw inside to Chase Utley or Ryan Howard, Wilson usually missed badly.
Josh Hamilton, Mitch Moreland and David Murphy need only look outside corner versus Wilson. I also guarantee that if Wilson goes 2-0 on a lefty hitter, he will throw that back door cutter to get a strike.
Do we see a Kirk Gibson-type home run late in a game by a Rangers lefty?
Look at that powerful delivery. Lincecum gets all of his body into every pitch.
That is why he can throw so hard for such a small guy. A long stride, front foot lands, hips are rotated, yet his shoulders are still closed and keeping all that power moving to the plate.
As the No. 1 starting pitcher, Lincecum gets one of the top nods for MVP.
If he or Lee go 2-0 and maybe come in for a relief appearance in Game 6 or 7 and their team wins, they are almost a lock for MVP.
Lincecum has an edge going in his home park in Game 1. He should be able top keep the Rangers big bats inside the park.
In the midst of all the Josh Hamilton hoopla, Nelson Cruz quietly went out and banged three home runs in the ALCS. His two-run shot off of David Robertson (Wow, what a bad series he had!) pretty much iced the Game 6 clincher.
Cruz also had two home runs against Tampa (and hit one off the top of the CF wall) in the ALDS for a total of five dingers and eight RBI in the post season.
Cruz has tremendous power, and can hit the ball out of AT&T Park in San Francisco with plenty of distance to spare.
Watch out Giants pitchers. Of all the big bats in the Rangers lineup, Nelson Cruz can do the most damage.
Ride 'em Ranger!
Lee will win the 2010 MVP if the Rangers' win and he wins both his games.
And unless Ron Washington does something to muck up the non-Lee games, I believe the Rangers will win the 2010 World Series.
And I believe that Lee will pitch extraordinarily well...again...and...again.