This week I will make my World Series predictions and my position-by-position analysis, which finally includes the Rangers. I can’t wait for it to start. This is awesome.
Position-by-Position Analysis (the Number 2 and 3 starters might be switched, as it hasn’t been announced, but I’m listing it as I think it should be):
Number 1 Starters:
Cliff Lee (TEX) <-- Tim Lincecum (SF)
Analysis: Cliff Lee is probably the best postseason pitcher of this decade. The guy is amazing. In his career, he is 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA in the playoffs, and this year, he is 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA. Not to mention his regular season success. Wow. Meanwhile, Tim Lincecum for the Giants is pretty good himself, winning each of the last two Cy Young Awards in the National League. And, overall in this year’s playoffs, he’s been great, with a 1.93 ERA, but in two NLCS starts, he allowed 6 runs (5 earned) in just 14 innings, which isn’t bad, but isn’t great either. I don’t see any way that you can go against Cliff Lee here.
Number 2 Starters:
CJ Wilson (TEX) --> Matt Cain (SF)
Analysis: This one is extremely close, and in the series, I see them each winning one game. But I think that a slight edge goes to Matt Cain, just because he hasn’t allowed an earned run yet in these playoffs in 13.2 innings of work. But CJ has been great these playoffs too, despite having a bad start in his last outing. Other than that start, CJ has been simply masterful, allowing only 3 runs in 13.1 innings, and, in my opinion, one of those runs is on Jorge Cantu for not taking the ball to the bag, and then another one of those runs was given up by the bullpen.
Number 3 Starters:
Colby Lewis (TEX) <-- Jonathon Sanchez (SF)
Analysis: Sure, it’s nice to have a guy going out there in Game 3 with a 1.45 playoff ERA in 18.2 innings. And, sure, it’s nice to have a guy with a 2-0 record in the postseason, and it’s also nice to have a guy that just dominated the Yankees in the biggest start of his career. And all of that is what Colby Lewis has done so far, but that’s still not the major reason that I’m giving him the edge. It’s because I think that Jonathon Sanchez will just get lit up, after completely losing his composure and his confidence in a 2-inning, 2-run performance in Game 6 of the NLCS.
Number 4 Starters:
Tommy Hunter (TEX) --> Madison Bumgarner (SF) or
Derek Holland (TEX) <-- Madison Bumgarner (SF)
Analysis: Madison Bumgarner is not a bad pitcher, with a 3.55 ERA in 12.2 innings so far this postseason, but he should not shut you down, as he has a .306 batting average against in the playoffs and is still yet to face the best hitting team that the Giants will play. So if we can just have a solid performance by our starter in that game, I think that the Rangers will win. The thing is, I don’t see Tommy Hunter doing that (playoff stats: 0-1, 2 GS, 6.14 ERA, 7.1 IP), as he has just been horrendous. But I do see Derek Holland (playoff stats: 1-0, 2.61 ERA, 10.1 IP) having a solid, if not better, performance in a possible start, especially against the Giants’ offense.
Bengie Molina (TEX) <-- Buster Posey (SF)
Analysis: Even though Buster Posey was much better in the regular season, the playoff stats and experience are making me go away from Posey. Buster hit only .217 in the NLCS, and has only 3 RBIs this entire postseason, which isn’t what you expect from one of your biggest offensive producers. Meanwhile, Bengie, apart from being great with the pitching staff, is hitting .333 in these playoffs and has hit one big home run in each series so far.
Mitch Moreland (TEX) <-- Aubrey Huff (SF)
Analysis: Once again, even though Huff was much better in the regular season, his playoff stats compared with Moreland are making me go against him. Huff has hit only .256 this postseason, including a .250 NLCS, had a .280 OBP last series, and is yet to get an extra-base hit these playoffs, which leads him to an awful .256 SLG. Meanwhile, Mitch Moreland, after hitting .200 in the ALDS, hit a tremendous .389 in the ALCS, and compared with Huff, has the same power numbers, a much better average, a better on-base percentage, a better slugging percentage by far, and has plenty less strikeouts.
Ian Kinsler (TEX) <-- Freddy Sanchez (SF)
Analysis: Ian has been great in these playoffs with a .342 batting average, 3 home runs, and 9 RBIs. Possibly even more impressive, though, would be his .409 on-base-percentage, which is outstanding. On the other side, Freddy Sanchez has been okay, with a .268 batting average, but has been awful at every other stat, with no home runs, one RBI, and a .302 OBP. I think that Ian definitely has the edge between those two.
Michael Young (TEX) <-- Mike Fontenot/Pablo Sandoval (SF)
Analysis: The main reason for this is not Michael’s .333 batting average in the ALCS, even though that is very good, but the Giants’ incompetence at the position. Mike Fontenot is hitting .214 in the playoffs so far, with no RBIs, and Pablo Sandoval is also hitting .214 in the playoffs with 2 RBIs. That’s just awful.
Elvis Andrus (TEX) <-- Juan Uribe/Edgar Renteria (SF)
Analysis: Elvis didn’t need to have hit safely in every playoff game so far for the Rangers to have the edge in this match-up, and he didn’t need his .333 playoff average either. Once again, the Giants are just incompetent at the position. Yes, Juan Uribe hit a home run to send the Giants to the World Series, and a walk-off sacrifice fly, but he is hitting .143 in the playoffs, and has an OBP under .200, and that’s just embarrassing. And Edgar Renteria isn’t much better, with a .167 playoff batting average, and has no extra-base hits. That’s incompetence at its highest.
David Murphy/Vladimir Guerrero (TEX) <-- Pat Burrell (SF)
Analysis: Yes, I know that when Vlad plays the outfield, he will be in right and Cruz will be in left, but for the sake of position consistency, I put Vlad in left field since he will split time with Murphy when playing in SF. Once again, the Giants player in left field just hasn’t hit in these playoffs, as Burrell is hitting .207, and has struck out 11 times. I know Vlad has struggled, hitting .267 with 11 strikeouts, and I know David Murphy has struggled, hitting .200, but neither of them have struggled that badly.
Josh Hamilton (TEX) <-- Aaron Rowand/Andres Torres (SF)
Analysis: Come on, when your center fielder is the ALCS MVP, and should be the AL MVP, you’re going to win hands-down. Josh hit .350 last series with 4 home runs and 7 RBIs, and had an OBP of .536 after you calculate the 13 walks he had in the series (5 of those were intentional walks). I mean, those numbers are just ridiculous. So when the Giants’ center fielders are hitting just about the best on their team at .286 (Aaron Rowand) and .250 (Andres Torres), it’s not really gonna matter. Good luck beating out Josh at that position, Giants.
Nelson Cruz (TEX) <-- Cody Ross (SF)
Analysis: As far as this post goes, the Giants got very unlucky to have their only good hitter at the moment playing right field, because that’s where Nelson Cruz plays. Cody Ross hit .350 with 3 home runs and 5 RBIs in the NLCS against the Phillies. But even that has been outdone by Nellie, who has hit .375 this postseason with 5 home runs and 8 RBIs. That doesn’t even take into account just how good Cruz’s defense is. Cody, you play the wrong position for this post.
Neftali Feliz (TEX) --> Brian Wilson (SF)
Analysis: Yes, you’re seeing right, this is an arrow pointing to the right after nine straight pointing to the left. But it is a pretty obvious choice, with Brian Wilson having 5 saves this postseason with no earned runs, and Neftali Feliz still not having a save. He did get hit hard in a game against the Rays in the ALDS, but other than that game, he hasn’t allowed a baserunner, so maybe he’ll end up being better than Wilson, but I’m definitely not predicting it.
World Series Prediction:
Game 1: Texas Rangers win (TEX 1-0)
Reason: Cliff Lee. What else do I need to say?
Game 2: San Francisco Giants win (TIE 1-1)
Reason: I don’t see them leaving their home park down 0-2.
Game 3: Texas Rangers win (TEX 2-1)
Reason: As I said earlier, I think Sanchez will get lit up due to a loss in confidence.
Game 4 w/ Holland: Texas Rangers win (TEX 3-1)
Reason: Holland has had a very good postseason, especially in the ALCS, and with Bumgarner’s .306 BAA, I see the Rangers scoring a few runs off him.
Game 4 w/ Hunter: San Francisco Giants win (TIE 2-2)
Reason: I don’t trust Hunter at all. He has averaged 3.2 innings per start in these playoffs. Ewwww.
Game 5: Texas Rangers win (Either TEX 4-1 or TEX 3-2)
Reason: Once again, Cliff Lee.
Game 6: Texas Rangers win (Either not necessary or TEX 4-2)
Reason: I don’t see CJ losing both of his starts in this series to Matt Cain.
If Derek Holland starts Game 4: Texas Rangers over San Francisco Giants 4-1
If Tommy Hunter starts Game 4: Texas Rangers over San Francisco Giants 4-2
Come back next week for more World Series analysis.