AccuScore’s World Series preview assumes both teams will stick to their projected pitching rotations. Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum are set to square off in Games 1 and 5. C.J Wilson will stay in the second spot in the Texas rotation ahead of Colby Lewis and oppose Matt Cain. Lewis will face Jonathan Sanchez is Games 3 and 6. Tommy Hunter and Madison Bumgarner are the fourth starters. Both players are questionable to start Game 7, and would likely be on very short leashes if they were to pitch in the deciding game.
TEX vs. SF
AccuScore projects the Rangers are solid favorites to win their first World Series title. Texas is winning 60 percent of simulations buoyed by the strength of Cliff Lee. The ace lefty is favored to win 57 percent of the time even against Lincecum on the road. Lee represents an even greater advantage at home with a 66-34 edge.
The Rangers are -143 favorites to win the series which translates to a 57 percent winning percentage. Since AccuScore’s percentage is higher at 60 percent, the value play for the series is with Texas.
Previously we at AccuScore was projected Lewis to move up and pitch Game 2 for the Rangers and go against Sanchez. Texas however has decided to stick with Wilson while the Giants have moved Cain to the second slot. These changes combine to slightly improve San Francisco’s chances in the second game from 54 to 56 percent. While two percent isn’t much, everything is magnified in the World Series so I’m sure Giants fans will take every advantage they can get.
Colby Lewis proved his mettle against the Yankees which is resulting in the Rangers solidly being favored in Game 3. His projected Game 6 start is also the smallest deficit for a road pitcher not named Cliff Lee in the series.
Texas, being the AL team, appears to have a nice advantage at DH with Vladimir Guerrero. Guerrero will play Game 1 in the outfield, and likely again should the series come back to San Francisco. His replacement in the outfield for the other games though is likely to be David Murphy, a very capable hitter in his own right. The Giants will employ Pat Burrell at DH against lefties (with probably Nate Schierholtz in OF) and Pablo Sandoval against righties. A couple of things to watch will be the health of Edgar Renteria and Juan Uribe for San Francisco as they have nagging injuries that could cause problems for the infielders. Andres Torres also suffered a minor groin injury against Philadelphia that bears watching. Texas appears to be mostly healthy as a team can be in October.
Even though the Rangers are favored overall, it would be beneficial for them to end the series before it reaches a seventh and deciding game. Their superior lineup gives them the advantage, but a single game situation in which every pitcher is in play leaves a lot of things to luck and random chance. The Giants obviously would also benefit in Game 7 by having the final chances at-bat.