Well, it seems that both undercards won in the ALCS and NLCS, and as such, the Texas Rangers will be facing the San Francisco Giants in the 2010 World Series. Both teams were facing difficult odds if they were to advance, as the Rangers faced off against the defending World Series Champions in the New York Yankees, while the Giants were heading off to face the team with the best record of 2010 in the Philadelphia Phillies. Both the Phillies and the Yankees were slated to win and face each other in a World Series rematch, however, it seems the Rangers and Giants went out and defied the odds to pull off two tough upsets. So, let's see how these two teams got to this point, and see if the World Series prediction will turn out to be a bit more accurate!
- Matchup for the 2010 World Series -
Texas Rangers vs San Francisco Giants.
After just squeaking by the Tampa Bay Rays in 5 games, the Texas Rangers found themselves facing the difficult task of the New York Yankees in the ALCS. After finding themselves down after the first game of the series after squandering a 5 run lead, the Texas Rangers seemed to click right into gear, winning the next three games of the series to put themselves on the verge of their first World Series appearance in the history of their ball club. After the Yankees put in some resilience thanks to their Ace C.C. Sabathia in Game 5, the Rangers proceeded to simply overwhelm the Yankees pitching in Game 6, and took the ALCS with a line of 4 games to 2. Their victory was highlighted by their lineup feasting on the Yankees pitching weaknesses, as well as showcasing some very strong pitching of their own, as their rotation simply outclassed the Yankees lineup in almost every way. Aside from the matches against Sabathia, the Rangers rotation shut down the Yankees dangerous lineup. Thanks to some excellent scouting, the normally patient Yankees lineup found themselves behind in counts throughout the series, and then being forced into some uncomfortable swings, ultimately leading to their elimination. Even with the ever-present danger of the Yankees lineup, as was seen with the comeback victory in Game 1, the Rangers pitching pulled themselves through to provide a nice feel-good story going into the World Series.
After the San Francicso Giants effectively ended the career of Bobby Cox of the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS, they found themselves facing off against the dangerous Philadelphia Phillies. In order for the Giants to have any chance of making it to their first World Series since 2002 they would need to continue their heavy reliance on their fantastic postseason pitching as their lineup was dwarfed by the Phillies in terms of stats. However, there were few who could have predicted the incredible performance of Cody Ross, as he absolutely feasted upon Phillies pitching, and allowed the Giants to have the run margin needed for their pitching to obtain the victories. With the Phillies coming into the NLCS boasting one of the best combined rotations and lineups of the year, the Giants needed their pitching to keep the games close. After pulling out a key victory in Game 1 against Roy Halladay, the Giants found themselves at a nice advantage going into the rest of the series. They ran into a bit of a road block in Game 2 against Roy Oswalt, the Giants pitching pulled themselves together at home to take two out of three against the Phillies, giving them a nice 3-2 lead going into Game 6. In this tightly-fought match, an unlikely hero in Juan Uribe gave the Giants a late-game victory, sending the team into a surprising trip to the World Series. The Giants took the series 4 games to 2.
Now, for the World Series matchup itself. We have the hard-hitting Texas Rangers facing off against the hard-throwing San Francisco Giants. In terms of overall stats, the Rangers come in with one of the best lineups in baseball, though their pitching staff ranks as midcard at best with one major exception. With Cliff Lee chasing postseason history in wins, strikeouts, and era, the Rangers are hoping to catch the Giants off guard and feast on mistakes as they did against the Yankees. However, while the Giants boost a midcard lineup at best in terms of stats, their pitching staff ranks as one of the best in baseball this year. So, overall we have a matchup of power hitting against power pitching. Hamilton, Cruz, and Young of the Rangers against Lincecum, Cain, and Sanchez of the Giants. In most of the games the Rangers won, the Rangers outscored their opponents by quite a bit. Their lineup has proven to be one of the toughest to stop thanks to Hamilton proving that he was deserving of the AL MVP status, and with Nelson Cruz and Vladimir Guerrero hitting around him, the Rangers will do their best to tire out the Giants pitching staff and capitalize on any mistakes. The Giants, however, have proven that even with a mediocre lineup, a team with incredible pitching can still win games. While they never really provided any flair in terms of lineup power, all they needed was a couple runs in each game to punch their ticket to the World Series. Throughout the postseason, the Giants have had 6 games where they won by one run, and the greatest margin of victory was three runs, both times while shutting their opponents out. If Cody Ross can continue his torrid hitting, the Giants may just have what is needed to pull this one out. However, as with all pitching, if a starter has a bad game, the Giants find themselves in a very difficult situation, as they lack the true lineup power to overcome large deficits. As seen against the Phillies when they lost, if a starter slips up, they lose. With a Rangers lineup that has become known for wearing out and tearing up pitchers, the Giants will need to keep pitching at the top of their game if they are to come out of this one. In the end, this series looks to be a very good one overall. Both teams defied odds to reach this point, and both teams look to have a strong will to win. After the dust clears though, the Rangers should continue to keep up their powerful hitting, and the pitching dominance of the Giants will crack just enough for the Rangers to pull through and win this one in the end.
Prediction: Rangers over Giants in 6 Games.
Well, there you have it. After a fantastic season, the Rangers should win this one thanks to their powerful lineup as they crack through the Giants rotation just enough to win this series and obtain the ball club their first World Series title in their history. Overall, though, this should be a fantastic series to watch, so to all baseball fans out there, enjoy!
May the best team win!