I believe that the Texas Rangers will win the World Series.
Texas as a team is currently batting .281 with a .337 on-base percentage and a .478 slugging percentage. They lead all playoff teams with 107 hits, 17 home runs, 182 total bases and 59 runs scored.
The Rangers success has been due to an extremely explosive offence lead by all-star outfielders Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. The two have combined for nine home runs, sixteen RBI, seventeen runs scored and nine stolen bases in the first two rounds of the playoffs. Five of the nine Rangers starters currently boast batting averages over .300, which has helped Texas outscore opponents by a total of 59 to 32 in 11 playoff games. The Rangers only played in one one-run game all playoffs and have outscored their opponent by at least four runs in every win. The offense has been able to dominate some of the games best pitchers in Matt Garza, David Price, C.C Sabathia and Andy Pettitte.
Meanwhile, San Francisco’s offense hasn’t put up anything close to the amount of production the Rangers bats have. They are currently batting .231 with a .296 on-base percentage and a .330 slugging percentage. The Giants 77 hits, 6 home runs, 110 total base and 30 runs scored clearly show that they are the offense underdog.
San Francisco’s top offensive player has been right fielder Cody Ross who is batting .324 with four home runs, eight RBI and six runs scored in ten playoff games. Ross is the only player on the Giants roster who is hitting over .300 in the post season and he has batted in a quarter of the teams 32 runs.
The Rangers should have a challenge hitting off San Francisco’s pitching staff, which has been dominate all playoff long.
Throughout the first two rounds opposing teams have combine for 65 hits, 25 earned runs are hitting just .199 off them. They have struck out 102 batters, allowed just under three runs per game and boast a team ERA of 2.47. Tim Lincecum’s 1.93 ERA is second best to teammate Matt Cain who has yet to allow a run in 13 and 2/3 innings of post-season baseball. Closer Brian Wilson symbolizes how dominant the Giants bullpen has been as he also has yet to allow a run in nine innings of post-season work and has posted a 0.89 WHIP in the process.
Texas’ Cliff Lee’s seems to bring his game up a notch in the playoffs, as he is 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA in eight post-season games. Other than Lee no other Ranger starter had pitched in the post season until this year. With four rookie starters and a rookie closer on the roster Texas’ pitching has shown great poise. They held opposing hitters to a combined 75 hits, 30 runs and .208 batting average. Combine the Rangers have struck out 107 batters allowed an average of three runs per game and currently have a 2.76 team ERA. Both teams have come a long way as they posted losing records in 2008 and finished last in their division in 2007.
The Giants and Rangers finished the 2010 season with almost identical records. San Francisco’s 92-70 record with a .568 winning percentage was a little better than Texas who went 90-72 with a .556 winning percentage.
San Francisco scored a total of 697 runs this season and only allowed 583, which was good for second in the MLB behind San Diego’s 581 runs against.
Texas scored a total of 787 runs, which was good for fifth best in the MLB and allowed 687 runs. Both teams finished with 162 homeruns apiece.
If history means anything San Francisco has the advantage. The Giants last trip to the post season was in 2003 when they lost to the Florida Marlins. They have been to the World Series three times losing to New York in 1962, Oakland in 1989 and Anaheim in 2002. In total San Francisco has appeared in the playoffs nine times and will be playing in their fourth World Series.
Texas had never won a playoff series until their five game win over Tampa Bay in the American League Division Series. In their entire 49 year history the Rangers only made three playoff appearances and had just a single win to show for it.
Texas played great in interleague play this season finishing with a 14-4 record, while the Giants posted a losing record of 7-8.
The two teams have met in the interleague play a total of 22 times with the Giants winning 15 times. Texas is 0-9 all time at AT&T Park getting swept on three occasions with the last happening in 2009. Over the past nine seasons the two teams have only met six times with the Giants winning all six games.
On Wednesday AT&T Park will play host to Game 1 of the 2010 World Series. This will be the first time since 2001 that the World Series will open in a National League ballpark.
This series will feature the Rangers high-powered offense against dominant Giants pitching. Even though San Francisco was able to stymie opposing hitters all season long it was only against National League teams. The American League seemed to feature teams with a lot more power and capability of scoring runs at will. I believe San Francisco’s pitching will make the series close but the Rangers offense will bust out and bring them their first ever World Series title.
Prediction: Texas in 6 games.