Two sets of players, two sets of fans; all of them convinced that there’s no way they would come this far only to lose at the final hurdle. Convinced it’s their ‘destiny’ to win, never mind the fact that ‘destiny’ has the worst hit-rate of any pre-season prognosticator, real or imagined.
There are enough heartwarming-stories-in-waiting between the Tigers and Giants to heat half of Michigan, and 101 reasons why whoever wins will have, in the grand universal scope of things, “deserved it more”.
As a big believer in making things more rather than less confusing, I am presenting you with three reasons why the Giants will prevail, followed by three reasons why it will actually be the Tigers.
The San Francisco Giants will win the World Series because:
1. They had no right to be in it in the first place, so they have to win
They were 2-0 down to the clearly superior Reds and won the next three in the Division Series. Then they went 3-1 down to the hodge-podge but somehow always good St Louis Cardinals, and won the last three games in that series as well.
2. The Tigers have no Closer.
Jose Valverde: he of the big gut, lots of guts and a flight path on his pitches so predictable they look like they’re on a string. After his inevitable implosion the Tigers went to Phil Coke, who had precisely 7 saves in his entire career before this postseason, and allows baserunners at a horrific rate.
3. Matt Cain is just as good a pitcher as Justin Verlander.
He has a lower career ERA, precisely the same WHIP (average number of hits/walks conceded per inning), but has 40 fewer wins because the Giants’ offense has been so bad for so long. He also doesn’t look as good, because he
doesn’t have a jerky leg-kick, tight pants and a 100mph fastball. He’s just borderline unhittable with his matchless ability to locate, mix speeds and locations and generate great movement on his pitches. Teams get mugged by Verlander, but picking pockets is just as effective a way of stealing money, and that’s what Cain’s been doing for years.
The Detroit Tigers will win the World Series because:
1. The Giants’ cadaver of an offense has been dragged through the playoffs by a Colorado Rockies reject.
Marco Scutaro is with his sixth club in 10 years, and hits for about as much power as I will be on Friday afternoon after double hernia surgery. The pretty bubble of Scutaro’s recent overachievement has to burst soon, and what happens to the Giants then?
2. The Tigers have the game’s best pitcher in Justin Verlander and its best hitter in Miguel Cabrera.
Looking at their dominance over the past couple of years, I have to wonder whether they have a clue just how blessed they are – these are two of the few guys whom fellow major-leaguers would pay to watch, who consistently do things almost no-one else can even dream of. Most of the media has already chalked up Verlander’s projected two World Series starts as wins for Detroit, and you just know Cabrera’s going to win at least one game single-handed, right?
3. Hunter Pence’s beard is unworthy of a World Series winner.
The Giants’ outfielder, acquired in a deadline-day deal with the Phillies in July, has some horrible superstition thing
going on that prevents him shaving. Or he lost his razor, I don’t know. Either way I’m not sure I can take too many more close-ups of him fiddling with his barely-post-pubescent facial fluff. I’m only glad we don’t have to put up with endless chatter by TV “analysts” about Closer Brian Wilson’s beard, as he’s out injured. Somehow, some way Pence’s quasi-beard will be his team’s downfall.
In conclusion, it seems pretty apparent that this World Series is impossible to call, so I’ll call it: Tigers will win in 6 games.