As has been the case all season and throughout the playoffs, we expect outstanding pitching in the World Series. The Giants feature four starters (Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner) capable of shutting down the best of lineups. Their bullpen has been a little shaky in the postseason, but closer Brian Wilson has been dependable. But the Rangers shouldn’t fear the beards in front of Wilson.
The Rangers have a Wilson of their own in C.J., who was tremendous in defeating the Yankees in the ALCS. But of course, the dominant lefty for Texas is Cliff Lee. He has earned a place among the greatest postseason pitchers of all-time. Lee made his postseason debut in 2009 with the Philadelphia Phillies and has won seven of his eight starts with no losses and a 1.26 ERA.
During the final few weeks of the season and the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Giants have found a way to win close games. With stingy pitching, the offense has manufactured just enough runs. Six of their seven wins over Atlanta and Philadelphia were by one run. The other was a 3-0 shutout of the Phillies. So the Giants know how to win close games.
The Rangers, on the other hand, have dominated their opponents. Josh Hamilton, the ALCS MVP, has found his stroke after missing most of September. The Yankees were intimidated enough to issue him three intentional walks in one game.
Don’t expect the Rangers’ bats to let them down. Even with an extra home game possible for San Francisco, the Rangers should dispatch their NL counterparts in six games.