The World Series matchup is finally set in stone: The Detroit Tigers and the San Francisco Giants will meet in the World Series for the first time. The fun begins Wednesday night.
Game 1, 2012 World Series:
Detroit Tigers @ San Francisco Giants – Wednesday, October 24
Why Detroit Will Win
No college football betting expert would pick Mississippi State to beat Alabama this Saturday, and few baseball betting experts would be inclined to pick San Francisco Giants starter Barry Zito over Detroit staff ace Justin Verlander in Game 1. Zito certainly did impress his teammates, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the larger baseball world by throwing 7 2/3 shutout innings last Friday night in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. However, he was bailed out by some terrible at-bats from the Cardinals, who served up three straight clunkers in Games 5 through 7 of that series. Against Detroit, Zito is going to have his hands full. His fastballs, which generally don’t even reach 90 miles per hour on the radar gun, are going to be fat, sitting targets for the Tigers’ sluggers, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. If Zito cannot prevent the first two hitters in Detroit’s batting order – leadoff man Austin Jackson and two-hitter Omar Infante – from reaching base, Zito will be in for a long night. Zito has to pitch to Cabrera with the bases empty so that he can pitch around him and then face the left-handed-hitting Fielder with a runner on first and nothing more. If Detroit’s non-power hitters can get on base with any degree of regularity, the Tigers should flourish against Zito.
Then there’s the other side of the matchup to consider. In the next baseball-specific sportsbook review, you will find it hard to see a single negative word about Verlander, the man who has posted an 0.74 earned-run average in three postseason starts for Detroit over the past two and a half weeks. Verlander has carried this 88-win club on his back, wiping away the memory of an underachieving regular season. Detroit is carrying itself in a different way right now, and that’s because it knows it has the best pitcher in this series by a considerable margin. If Verlander gives up anything more than two runs in this game, it will be a surprise. Since Zito is not likely to throw two straight shutouts, the Tigers have to love their odds in Game 1.
Why San Francisco Will Win
When people pursue a sport betting play, they don’t just look at matchups, but at momentum. Online football betting gurus know that belief and confidence can enable underdog teams to perform far above their pay grades, creating surges of emotion that lead to increased intensity and better performance, all while causing the opposition to panic.
Baseball betting experts remember Game 1 of the 2010 World Series in San Francisco. The Giants, playing at home, faced the hottest pitcher in baseball, Cliff Lee of the Texas Rangers. They were an underdog against Lee in that game, but they pecked and poked and worked counts to their advantage. They frustrated Lee and got timely hits against him. There’s no reason the Giants can’t do the same thing to Justin Verlander this time around. San Francisco might be the favorite in this series, but it is the underdog in Game 1. Yet, that kind of reality has never mattered to the Giants. They won the World Series against the odds in 2010. They can win Game 1 against the odds as well.
Who Will Win?
The Giants are brimming with confidence after coming back to beat St. Louis in the National League Championship Series, but this pitching matchup is simply too lopsided to ignore. The presence of Verlander on the mound for Detroit is more important than the presence of Zito on the mound for San Francisco. It’s very possible that Zito will pitch well, but it’s highly unlikely that Verlander will falter in this situation, and that’s why the Tigers are an attractive choice in Game 1.
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MLB Betting Pick: Detroit