Rested Tigers in 5
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The Giants certainly have shown tremendous resilience, fending off a Cardinals team that seemed born to be the wild-card world champion, but that seven-game NLCS is going to cost them in the World Series.
The Tigers are well-rested and have their starting rotation lined up just right to get the jump on the Giants, even though the Fall Classic will begin in San Francisco. The home-field disadvantage probably is not going to bother Justin Verlander, who should be very fresh pitching on more than a week's rest.
The maximum availability of the Tigers ace and a pretty good supporting cast should be the difference in this series. Tigers in five.
Tigers pitchers too much
Do the Giants have anything left in their bag of tricks? The reality is they probably would have been eliminated on Oct. 9 — swept by the Reds in the division series — had Buster Posey not made a perfect throw to nail Brandon Phillips at third base in the first inning of Game 3.
They are 1-5 in the games they could afford to lose and 6-0 in the ones they had to win this October. But they better not fall into a hole against the Tigers, whose rotation has had a 1.02 ERA in leading their team to a 7-2 record.
If the Giants can't beat Justin Verlander in Game 1 at AT&T Park, they'll watch their magical run end when he nails down Game 5 at Comerica Park. I'm calling it Tigers in five.
Verlander, Tigers in 7
This one goes to the Tigers in seven. I know, I know. The Giants have the momentum. They cruised past the Cardinals in Game 7 of the NLCS and limited them to one run the last three games of the series, while the Tigers have been sitting around since their sweep of the Yankees on Thursday.
But the Tigers have this pitcher named Justin Verlander — maybe you've heard of him. He's got an 0.74 ERA (2 ER, 24.1 IP) in three postseason starts this season. If you include his last four regular-season outings, his ERA goes down to 0.69 (4 ER, 52.1 IP). And if needed, he'd certainly be a guy who could pitch on short rest and make three starts in the World Series. That says it all.
Loaded Detroit in 5
Los Angeles Times
My pick before the playoffs was for the Tigers and Giants to get to the World Series, and for the Tigers to win. No change now: Tigers in five.
The Tigers have the best pitcher in baseball, and the best hitter. Justin Verlander throws the upper-90s heat that the Giants could not touch against Cardinals reliever Trevor Rosenthal in the NLCS, but Verlander brings it for eight or nine innings instead of one or two. Miguel Cabrera had more hits in a four-game ALCS sweep than the Giants' Buster Posey had in a seven-game NLCS.
The Giants have the bullpen edge, but the Tigers' starters have a 1.02 ERA this postseason. If the Tigers win with Verlander twice, the Giants would have no more than five games to win four.