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Join us at Cappers Info, as we make our World Series picks for Game 1 of the Fall Classic between the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers.
Matchup: Texas Rangers @ San Francisco Giants Game 1
Date: Wednesday, October 27th, 7:57 ET
Location: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA
Game Line: San Francisco +105
Over/Under 5.5 (o-110)
Rangers Notes: The Rangers must think that they are in the driver's seat in this game, as they think that LHP Cliff Lee is going to be the man to get the job done in at least Game 1, if not also in Game 4 and possibly Game 7 of this series. And why not? Lee pitched a great game in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays, a phenomenal game in Game 5 to close them out, and a virtually perfect performance on the hallowed ground of Yankee Stadium in a backbreaking Game 3 of the ALCS. This southpaw just keeps getting better and better as well. Lee has thrown 24 innings in these playoffs, and he has only allowed 13 hits, two runs, and one walk, and he has 34 strikeouts to boot. Opposing batters are only hitting .151 against him in these playoffs, and his ERA has dropped to a miniscule 0.75. The hitters really haven't let this team down either in the postseason. The Rangers are getting great play from OF Nelson Cruz. He is batting .375 to lead the team, and he is also tops on the team in runs (11) and home runs (5). 2B Ian Kinsler has three dingers and five total extra base hits, and he leads the team in run production with nine RBIs. Only one regular batter, OF Josh Hamilton, is batting under .250 for the playoffs, and he has eight RBIs as well. Stealing bases has been key for the Rangers as well. This team built on hustle and hard play, and SS Elvis Andrus has stolen seven of the 15 bases for them in 11 postseason tussles. Texas has only been caught stealing twice. If it comes down to the bullpen, the Rangers have been very, very iffy. This unit has allowed 13 runs in 28.2 innings of work for just a 4.08 ERA.
Giants Notes: RHP Tim Lincecum has taken on the best that baseball has to offer in these playoffs, and he has passed almost every single test. If not for the no hitter pitched on the same day by Philadelphia Phillies RHP Roy Halladay, Lincecum's complete game shutout probably would have gone down as the greatest postseason pitching performance that we have seen since Don Larsen's perfect game in the World Series. However, Lincecum didn't stop there. He turned around and outpitched the man that overshadowed him on the first day of the postseason, beating Halladay in Game 1 of the NLCS. Though Lincecum got the loss in the rematch with Halladay in Game 5, he got a hold in the close out game of the series. If the Giants are going to beat the odds to win the World Series, OF Cody Ross is going to be the man to thank. Ross has four home runs in the postseason, and the rest of the team only has one. Ross also has eight RBIs, while the next highest total on the team is OF Pat Burrell's four. C Buster Posey is the only man aside from Ross to be batting over .300 in the postseason. Only four men are batting at least .250. The trick for San Francisco has been the bullpen. Closer Brian Wilson has coined the phrase "Fear the Beard," and he has certainly been a man to fear in these playoffs. Wilson is 1-0 with four saves and a perfect 0.00 ERA in 7.1 innings of work in the playoffs.
The Final Word: An interesting note… This is the lowest 'total' in baseball history, regardless of whether it was a regular season or postseason game. Though common thoughts would suggest that this benefits the team that can make things happen on the base paths, especially with a dominating pitcher on the mound, we tend to disagree. Lincecum has beaten the best there is in the game, and with just one bloop here and there and perhaps a well overdue blast from someone aside from Ross, the Giants can take Game 1.
Free World Series Picks: San Francisco Giants +105
Prediction: San Francisco 3 – Philadelphia 1