Tip-Off for 10/24/12 (featuring Nicki Minaj): San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers prepare to meet in World Series

(Gregory Shamus Elsa/Getty Images)

The Tigers and Giants meet for the first time in the 108th World Series.

The San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers meet tonight in Game 1 of the World Series. With 30 appearances between them (19 for the Giants and 11 for the Tigers), this is the first time the teams have met in the Fall Classic. The Giants have fought off elimination six times in their quest to win a second world championship in three years. The Detroit Tigers return to the World Series for the first time since 2006.

The Giants cast is made up of gritty players while the Tigers have had the best starting pitching in the postseason.

The Tigers are well rested heading into Game 1, a huge reason for their collapse in the 2006 series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Additional days off will come as a boost for Tigers starter Justin Verlander who may be asked to pitch as many as three times in the series. Their rotation is more than just the reigning AL MVP. Anibal Sanchez, Doug Fister, and Max Sherzer have combined with their ace to post a 1.02 ERA in nine starts this postseason.

Ironically, it was Verlander who was hit up by the National League in this year’s All-Star Game. He was the losing pitcher for the American League, surrendering five first inning runs, opening the door for the Giants to have home field advantage in this series. 

Detroit is fortunate to have one of the best one-two punch combos in the game. Free agent acquisition Prince Fielder and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera are the power source. Fielder who finished his first season in Motown batting .313 with 30 home runs and 108 RBIs is struggling in the postseason batting a shotty.211.

ALCS MVP Delmon Young has put the Tigers on his back. Young hit .294 with two home runs and eight RBIs against the Yankees. Young batted as a DH in the ALCS, but may see action in left field as the series opens up in Frisco.

Jim Leyland is looking to join former Tigers skipper Sparky Anderson as one of a handful of managers to win a World Series in both leagues.

In 2010, the San Francisco Giants won the world championship behind tough starting pitching and a great bullpen. This time around, Bruce Bochy’s bunch still has great pitching and a determined group that won’t quit.

If any team has momentum going into the series I would go with the Giants who shocked the St. Louis Cardinals rallying from a 3-1 deficit. They also came back from an 0-2 disadvantage against the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS.

NCLS MVP Marco Scuturo (14-28, .500 NLCS) had six multi-hit games in the Cardinals series. It was Scuturo who was on the recieving end of a questionable slide by the Cardinals Matt Holliday in Game 2 that nearly had disastrous results for  San Francisco.

Hunter Pence, who was picked up in a late season trade with Philadelphia is the Giants emotional leader. What Pence has lacked at the plate (.188 in the postseason) he makes up for in inspiring his team. NL MVP candidate Buster Posey is batting only .178 with six RBIs in the postseason.  

The Giants will ride the arm of Barry Zito (yes, that Barry Zito). Zito is closing in on putting a cap on a great comeback season. Tim Lincecum is having the worst season of his stellar career, but has given his team a boost out of the bullpen. Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong round out the Giants starters. The bullpen has been solid with a combined 2.63 ERA in 41 innings and a 2-0 record.

The Giants have moved along despite losing ace reliever Brian Wilson to Tommy John surgery and suspended MVP candidate Melky Cabrera to a drug suspension.

Prediction: Tigers in 7. 

The Lineup:

Mario Williams may opt for wrist surgery (NFL.com).

Ten NBA records that could fall this season (Dime Magazine).

Bobby Brown arrested (The Shadow League).

Jay Graves speaks on Benji Wilson (Jay Graves report).

Center position taken off the NBA All-Star ballot (Black Sports Online).

Brandon Marshall not budging on Suh hit (Pro Football Talk).

Who survived training camp cuts (Hoops Hype).

Kevin Durant unveils new shoe (Black Sports Online).

Marlins dump Ozzie Guillen  (The Shadow League).

Top NBA highlights  (House of Highlights).

 

Nicki Minaj

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