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October 24, 2012

Wezen-Ball

A Few World Series Predictions

by Larry Granillo

These things will happen over the course of the World Series this year:

  • A famous recording artist will sing the national anthem. It will be no better than any national anthem you would have heard in Denver or Minneapolis in August.
  • Justin Verlander will strike a lot of batters out.
  • Marco Scutaro will be called "gritty".
  • Prince Fielder will hit a ball really far and nearly fall over while doing so.
  • The first time Buster Posey gets an extra-base hit, the announcers will say that he is finally back to his old self.
  • Cast members of Fox's "The Mindy Project" or "Ben and Kate" will be sitting about ten or so rows above one of the dugouts in at least one game. A Tigers or Giants hat will be on the head of at least one of them.
  • Miguel Cabrera will make a nice play at third base. Tigers fans will say, "See? We told you he was pretty good over there!"
  • Miguel Cabrera will make a bad play at third base. Baseball fans will say, "See? He's even worse than we thought he was over there!"
  • You will see the replay of Hunter Pence's "three-hit basehit" at least a dozen times.
  • Brian Wilson will dance in the dugout while wearing an absurd beard.
  • You will be annoyed at Bruce Springsteen singing "This traiiiiin!!"
  • You will laugh at Andre Dawson saying "What year is it?"
  • Some announcer will make the case for Miguel Cabrera as MVP over Mike Trout. That same announcer will also make the case for Buster Posey as MVP over Ryan Braun.
  • Someone in a weird hat will sing "God Bless America" at AT&T Park. Fans will ask aloud "Why are they singing this again?"
  • AT&T Park will be rocking with 40,000 fans who paid hundreds of dollars per ticket (and likely traveled hundreds or thousands of miles) every night.
  • Comerica Park will be rocking with 40,000 fans who paid hundreds of dollars per ticket (and likely traveled hundreds or thousands of miles) every night.
  • Someone will look at the broadcasts' ratings and say that people don't watch baseball anymore.
  • You will hear Journey and be reminded of "The Sopranos".
  • The Tigers will win at least one blowout.
  • The Giants will win at least one game in their final at-bat.
  • Writers and broadcasters will get overly excited by Matt Cain or Justin Verlander taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning.
  • Sadly, there will be no games featuring Bengal tigers chained to a stake in the ground just past the foul lines. Word is still out on giants in the AT&T Park outfield.
  • Willie Mays and Al Kaline will feature prominently in the pre-game festivities of one game at their home ballparks.
  • Miguel Cabrera will hit the ball really hard.
  • The Giants will win the Series in six games.

What are your predictions for the World Series?

8 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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juiced

Giants in 6.

Oct 24, 2012 15:12 PM
rating: 0
 
harderj

I love your optimism, but as a Giants fan I fear Tigers in five.

However, if the Giants are to win this thing here are a few things I predict have to happen and thoughts about what I'd like to see.

Obviously Zito has to pitch his second consecutive "game of his contract." And against Verlander he may not get much run support.

But, in this year's All-Star game, Giants were a key part of Verlander's one inning, five earned run debacle.

M*lky Cabr*ra singled on the only pitch he saw from Verlander (a 95 mph fastball), a couple batters later Buster Posey drew a 4 pitch walk (100, 100, 96, 94, all four-seamers), and Pablo Sandoval followed that with a take of a 96, a foul of a 96, and a three-rbi triple on an 81 mph curve (after Verlander had thrown 9 straight fastballs and 24 of 29).

Verlander was pitching for the all-star game, he later said, and indeed threw 80% fastballs through the Panda's at bat, compared to 55.9% on the season, and was throwing them at higher than his 94 MPH seasonal average velocity.

Still, maybe it says that Verlander didn't have much of a book on these guys (he says, hopefully ignoring small sample size bias).

The choice of Anibal Sanchez for game three over Max Scherzer could weigh in the Giants favor, but that's kind of negated if Bochy goes with Vogelsong over Cain, as is rumored to be the case.

One thing that may play large is extreme platoon splits in the two bullpens and how Leyland and Bochy are able to capitalize on matchups with reliever or pinch hitters.

First off, I wish Bochy would flip-flop Belt and Pence in the lineup to break up the string of three lefties at the bottom. Plus, it seems to me Belt is stinging the ball more consistently right now (although Pence did hit one ball three times). Guess he's protecting the rookie from too much pressure.

For the Tigers, only Joaquin Benoit, Al Alburquerque (righties) and Duane Below (lh) are okay against both hands.

Righties Jose Valverde, Brayan Villarreal, and Octavio Dotel all pretty much give it up against lefties.

New closer lefty Phil Coke gets lefties okay (.318 on base against), but goes flat against righties at a whopping .446.

LOOGYs Darin Downs and Drew Smyly aren't quite as bad against righties (though Downs comes close at .396).

Al Alburquerque was actually a reversed righty in his limited action, and still tolerable against righties, against whom he was used slightly more often. Rick Porcello was better against righties, but not very good.

So I'd say if the Giants are to win, Aubrey Huff is going to have to have a big pinch-hit at bat (or three) against Valverde, Dotel, Villarreal, or Porcello and Joaquin Arias, Hector Sanchez (switch-hitter, better against lefties), Xavier Nady, or Ryan Theriot will have to against Coke, Smyly, or Downs.

As for the Giants pen, facing Leyland's completely alternating lineup, Sergio Romo (rh) is better against righties but good both ways and Jeremy Affeldt (lh) is tolerable against both (obp around .315 each way).

Reversed righty George Kontos had an under-the-radar successful debut, with OBP allowed of .246 (slugging of .222) against lefties and .267/.385 facing about twice as many righties.

LOOGY Javier Lopez is both better than Darin Downs against lefties and worse than he (and Coke, for that matter) against righties (with an OBP against of .500).

And ROOGY Santiago Casilla got righties fairly well (.267 OBP) and was at .339 vs. righties. New reliever Tim Lincecum was actually better this year against lefties, at .330 OBP, with righties getting on at a .352 clip.

Avisail Garcia may be a key name against Affeldt or Lopez, although he doesn't hit for a lot of pop. Righty Gerald Laird was better against righties this year (with a .420 OBP), so he might match up well against Kontos.

And in two pitchers' parks, it'll be who plays better defense.

Okay, S.F. in seven after falling behind 3-1, as it seems like that kind of season...

Oct 24, 2012 15:48 PM
rating: 0
 
Nick J

Tigers in 3

Oct 24, 2012 15:49 PM
rating: 2
 
carligula

Brandon Belt will have a plate appearance in which he takes a called strike, then makes an out. He will then be called "too passive".

Oct 24, 2012 15:52 PM
rating: 1
 
BillJohnson

A couple of web sites that I will not name will say the Tigers are overwhelming favorites and cite the fact that they play in, quote, "the stronger league" as evidence to support the claim. Absolutely nothing that occurs on the field will have anything to do with that evidence.

Oct 24, 2012 15:56 PM
rating: 1
 
John Geer
(44)

FOX (and other networks) planting actors from their shows in prime seats and then showing them during the games is the worst thing in sports. Period.

Oct 24, 2012 16:30 PM
rating: 2
 
ahemmer

Hey! Don't knock "Land of Hope and Dreams."

Oct 25, 2012 05:55 AM
rating: 0
 
delatopia

I will not laugh at Andre Dawson. State Farm's recent ad campaign with any mention of the "discount doublecheck" are the worst commercials on TV, matched perhaps only by Geico's ads with the caveman and NFLer Brian Orakpo. Sadly, Orakpo's season has been ended by injury, but the side benefit is that it seems to have taken his commercials off TV.

Oct 25, 2012 08:01 AM
rating: 0
 
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