Over the course of the final series of the 2012 Major League Baseball postseason, we’ll begin each morning at Getting Blanked with a review of the night before and a preview of what’s to come. With World Series Game One set to begin on Wednesday night at 5:07 PM local time in San Francisco, we’ll start today by looking at the scheduled starters for the best-of-seven series, the history behind these two teams meeting, what the oddsmakers are saying and a whole lot more.

The Schedule

  • Wednesday, October 24th, 8:07 PM ET, Game One: Detroit Tigers at San Francisco Giants;
  • Thursday, October 25th, 8:07 PM ET, Game Two: Detroit Tigers at San Francisco Giants;
  • Saturday, October 27th, 8:07 PM ET, Game Three: San Francisco Giants at Detroit Tigers;
  • Sunday, October 28th, 8:07 PM ET, Game Four: San Francisco Giants at Detroit Tigers;
  • Monday, October 29th, 8:07 PM ET, Game Five: San Francisco Giants at Detroit Tigers;
  • Wednesday, October 30th, 8:07 PM ET, Game Six: Detroit Tigers at San Francisco Giants;
  • Thursday, November 1st, 8:07 PM ET, Game Seven: Detroit Tigers at San Francisco Giants.

Probable Pitchers

After sweeping the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series, the Detroit Tigers were able to have enough days off to reset their rotation to any order they wished. Manager Jim Leyland decided to go with the following rotation:

  • Game One: RHP Justin Verlander
  • Game Two: RHP Doug Fister
  • Game Three: RHP Anibal Sanchez
  • Game Four: RHP Max Scherzer

Taking seven games to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series, San Francisco Giants manager didn’t have the same luxury as his counterpart in the World Series. His make-shift rotation will look like this:

  • Game One: LHP Barry Zito
  • Game Two: LHP Madison Bumgarner
  • Game Three: RHP Ryan Vogelsong
  • Game Four: RHP Matt Cain

A World Series opener between Verlander and Zito may seem like a colossal mismatch, but there’s something to Bochy’s arrangement that might give the Giants the upper hand. The series opens in San Francisco at AT&T Park, which tends to be more pitcher-friendly than the bandbox-by-comparison Comerica Park in Detroit. Ensuring that two of the less reliable members of the starting rotation begin the series at home gives Zito and Bumgarner a helping hand, and also ensure that two of the team’s more reliable starters down the stretch and in the postseason pitch in the first two games in Detroit.

For Game Five, if necessary, the Tigers are likely to go back to Verlander, while the Giants can choose between Zito, Bumgarner (on short rest) or even Tim Lincecum to start, depending on who has been the most effective over the early part of the series. Then, when/if the series goes back to San Francisco, the hope is that both Vogelsong and Cain would be available on short rest, with whoever didn’t start Game Five available out of the bullpen should the need arise.

The Lineups

While the San Francisco Giants have stuck close to the same lineups throughout their postseason journey, the Detroit Tigers have made slight alterations depending on whether they’re facing a right-handed or left-handed pitcher. Against southpaws, the Tigers are likely to use Andy Dirks and Avasail Garcia in the corner outfield spots. Against right-handers, Quintin Berry will be used as the left fielder and the number two hitter in the lineup. Adding a further complication, you can expect to see Gerald Laird replace Alex Avila as the starting catcher whenever Doug Fister pitches.

Of course, there’s the no small matter of the different rules in the American League and National League ballparks. While Jim Leyland has already confirmed that the regular designated hitter Delmon Young will play left field at AT&T Park, most likely replacing Garcia against lefties, and Berry against righties, Bruce Bochy has yet to confirm who will act as the team’s designated hitter when the series goes to Comerica Park. Aubrey Huff, Hector Sanchez and Xavier Nady are all options. If the team wishes to go with Sanchez though, they’re likely to alter their roster a little bit with the addition of an extra catcher.

Expect the lineups to look like this in San Francisco, where the pitchers hit and the Giants are expected to start two left-handers:

Detroit Tigers
1. Austin Jackson (R) CF
2. Omar Infante (R) 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 3B
4. Prince Fielder (L) 1B
5. Delmon Young (R) LF
6. Jhonny Peralta (R) SS
7. Andy Dirks (L) RF
8. Alex Avila (L) C
9. Starting Pitcher

San Francisco Giants
1. Angel Pagan (S) CF
2. Marco Scutaro (R) 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Hunter Pence (R) RF
6. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
7. Gregor Blanco (L) LF
8. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
9. Starting Pitcher

Expect the lineups to look like this in Detroit, where the designated hitters play and the Giants are expected to start at least two right-handers:

San Francisco Giants
1. Angel Pagan (S) CF
2. Marco Scutaro (R) 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Hunter Pence (R) RF
6. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
7. Designated Hitter DH
8. Gregor Blanco (L) LF
9. Brandon Crawford (L) SS

Detroit Tigers
1. Austin Jackson (R) CF
2. Quintin Berry (L) LF
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 3B
4. Prince Fielder (L) 1B
5. Delmon Young (R) DH
6. Jhonny Peralta (R) SS
7. Andy Dirks (L) RF
8. Alex Avila (L) C
9. Omar Infante (R) 2B

History

When the first modern World Series was played in 1903, the American League and the National League each had eight franchises which are still referred to as the “original sixteen.” Despite both organizations belonging to this exclusive club, the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants have never faced each other in the World Series.

However, this is the fourth time since the League Championship Series was introduced that a World Series will feature one team that won its league via a sweep and another that played all seven games to decide a champion. Not that it means much of anything in terms of predictive value, in all three of the previous times that this occurred, the team that played all seven games in the Championship Series went on to win the World Series.

The Oddsmakers

Despite a better regular season record than the Detroit Tigers, the San Francisco Giants will be considered the underdogs in the 2012 World Series.

MLB – WORLD SERIES PRICE  Odds
Best of Seven (2-3-2)
Detroit Tigers (Series Prices) -180  
San Francisco Giants (Series Prices) +160  

This means that in order to win $100, you’d have to bet $180 on the Tigers, but a $100 bet on the Giants would win you $160. Honestly, though, just don’t bet on baseball. There’s so much randomization that can happen over the course of a seven game series, that predicting a winner is as close to a coin flip as a sporting event can get.

Tolerating The Broadcast

The great many of us who aren’t lucky enough to be traveling to San Francisco or Detroit over the next week will have to resort to the television broadcast to watch the action. It’s nearly impossible to be a baseball commentator and be appreciated. They use such an enormous amount of verbiage over such a relatively short span of time that they’re almost guaranteed to say something stupid or mess up their delivery. Of course, Jon Miller is a rare exception, but ihe’s quite likely a talent that may not even come around once in a generation.

For FOX Sports, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver will be calling the game. It wouldn’t be a stretch for me to believe that Buck, who is every bit as enthusiastic about baseball as McCarver is sensible, would rather be preparing for a Sunday afternoon NFL broadcast than calling any game in the World Series. Meanwhile McCarver’s outlook on the game is so outdated, viewers don’t bat an eye when he starts referring to the starting pitcher as Christy Mathewson.

In Canada, Rogers Sportsnet will broadcast MLB’s international feed, meaning that instead of Buck and McCarver, viewers will be treated to the rambling meanderings of Gary Thorne and Rick Sutcliffe. While Sutcliffe is prone to being more critical of players and managers than McCarver, his love of sacrifice hitting gets to be a bit much when advancing the runner becomes more highly praised than getting a hit or drawing a walk. Thorne is, at best, inoffensive and unremarkable.

You’re Ready

As always, you can interact with all of us online during each game of the World Series via Twitter so that we can chat during the games.  And once the games are over, join us back here at Getting Blanked for in-depth summaries that include nerdy break downs, graphs, GIFs, charts, and heavy doses of sarcasm.

Comments (8)

  1. What is funnier, Barry Zito starting game one or Delmon Young playing LF at AT&T?!

  2. Bring back Melky!!!

    If you like the way your offense is going, don’t start him when home, but he is still a great option off the bench as a pinch hitter and a way better option than Huff to be the DH in Detroit!

  3. I’m worried baseball will fold under since New York, Boston or LA is not in the World Series again.
    The NBA would not allow a team without a superstar like the Giants to play in their finals

  4. … GEORGE CLOONEY!

  5. Thorne and Sudcliffe are 100% right on about the game and facts, plus they are 0% annoying unlike those fox idiots. Why must you diss everyone, Thorne is as good as it gets in any sport

  6. I have enjoyed hearing Thorne doing my Jay games from time to time over the years. He has done well doing some Leaf playoff games too, yes I know it has been many years ago for Leaf playoff games. He is a professional, and takes his job seriously and he dont talk shit unlike the Fox version of Cory and Trevor

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