The Texas Rangers will square off with the San Francisco Giants in the World Series this year. I think it is safe to say that nobody saw this match up earlier this year. Both teams are relatively big surprises to be in the Series, but on the other hand they aren’t. They both have what it takes to win in the postseason and that is pitching.
The San Francisco Giants have a dynamic due on the hill of Time Lincecum (16-10/3.43 ERA) and Matt Cain 13-11/3.14 ERA). Add in Johnathan Sanchez (13-9/3.07 ERA) and you have a formidable rotation for the postseason. Not to mention perhaps the best reliever in the NL in Brian Wilson (48 saves/1.81 ERA) coming out of the bullpen. The Giants led the NL in ERA and were 4th in WHIP.
The Rangers have their stars on the hill as well. First of all, everyone knows Cliff Lee and how dominant he has been in the postseason through his career (7-0/1.26 ERA), and this year has been no different. Following Lee is former closer CJ Wilson (15-8/3.35 ERA) and Colby Lewis (12-13/3.72 ERA). The Rangers have a formidable pen as well with Neftali Feliz (40 saves/2.73 ERA) closing, and the Darren’s to set him up – O’Day and Oliver.
Where I think the Rangers have the advantage is on the offensive side of the ball. The Giants have some solid hitters. Buster Posey (.305/18/67), the likely NL ROY, Aubrey Huff (.290/26/86), and Pat Burrell (.266/18/51). But the Rangers have potential MVP Josh Hamilton (.359/32/100), Vlad Guerrero (.300/29/115), and Michael Young (.284/21/91). The Rangers still have power, but they have added speed as well stealing 123 bases to the Giant’s 55.
One thing we know is its gonna be a heck of a series. I don’t think either team sweeps, but I do think the Rangers win in 6. The Rangers are simply riding a franchise high. They have never been to this point in the season, and I think they will help propel them forward. This franchise has never been the talk of the town in Dallas, and now they are the toast of the town. The excitement they have created in Dallas is incredible, and I think the team is feeding off of that excitement the fans are showing. Not to say the Giants and their fans aren’t excited, but they have been there before. This was the first year the Rangers even won a postseason series, let alone been to the World Series. A lot of people might look at that and see it as a negative, but I see it as a positive motivator that will help the Rangers. They have a few of their stars that have been there and who know what it takes to win at this level.
So I stand by my prediction – Rangers in 6.
Of course, my last WS prediction of the year didn’t turn out too good, but I have a better feeling about this one.