Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2010 World Series Preview

TEX: Bengie Molina, Mitch Moreland, Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, Elvis Andrus
SF: Buster Posey, Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez, Pablo Sandoval/Juan Uribe, Uribe/Edgar Renteria

Here is the problem with a Rangers-Giants World Series. Look at that list of infielders and give me one person who you are excited to watch. Legitimately excited, not just excited because Sandoval is lovable and fat. There is no Ryan Howard, no Chase Utley, no Derek Jeter, no Alex Rodriguez. Elvis Andrus and Buster Posey will both probably blossom into superstars, but it won’t happen in time to make the infield matchup exciting. Side note: has there ever been an older infield than Huff, Sanchez, Renteria, and Uribe? Freddy is the youngest of those four. He is 32.

TEX: Josh Hamilton, David Murphy, Nelson Cruz, Julio Borbon, Jeff Francoeur
SF: Pat Burrell, Andres Torres, Aaron Rowand, Cody Ross, Nate Schierholtz

I give the Giants a slight advantage in the outfield because Burrell and Hamilton are similar offensively – and by that, I mean they can hit the ball a long way if they ever actually hit it. Some combination of Torres/Ross/Schierholtz will match up with Cruz. The X-factor will be if Cody Ross can continue to be a stud. He won the NLCS for the Giants. He absolutely earned his MVP award for that series. If he can continue his streak of producing 1-2 runs every game (or so it felt, as a Phillies fan) then I like San Fran’s chances. On the flip side, if Hamilton decides to play up to the level he’s capable of, then he could very well give the Texas pitching staff the support it needs from the middle of the order.

Starting Pitching
TEX: Cliff Lee, CJ Wilson, Colby Lewis, Tommy Hunter
SF: Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, Madison Bumgarner

Everyone knows that Lee and Lincecum are two of the best pitchers in the world. Several people know that Wilson and Cain are solid #2’s in their respective rotations. I think the Rangers (depending on what happens in the first 3 games) could move Hunter to the bullpen and let Lee throw Games 1, 4, and 7. He’s plenty rested – and we know that Cliff Lee in the postseason is a boss. I think the Giants will keep the 4-man rotation because Sanchez and Bumgarner have both been good. But look for more of Lincecum in relief like we saw in Game 6 in Philly. Timmy will probably serve as setup man at least once.

Relief Pitchers
TEX: Darren O’Day, Neftali Feliz, Darren Oliver
SF: Javier Lopez, Guillermo Mota, Ramon Martinez, Sergio Romo, Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson. The mental assassin. Quote of the playoffs? “You pretty much gotta be a warrior.” He is having one of the best postseasons in history, and making a name for himself in the process. My favorite part about him - nope, not the beard - is that he’s too hipster to play for the Yankees or one of the other big-market teams. He’s down-to-earth for that, but at the same time he is a psycho. I think San Fran should auction off a night in Vegas with him and Lincecum. Do you think those guys would have fun? Because I do.

The Bottom Line
In this series, we have young talent on both sides and a lot of past-their-prime players in the Giants’ infield. Cliff Lee will not lose whether he throws two or three games – or just all four. I said this for the ALCS and I was wrong but I will say it again: Josh Hamilton is going to figure out his swing and start providing runs. I guess I just can’t accept the Giants as a legitimate team – and I don’t know why.

Jay: Texas in 7
Chris: Texas in 6

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