Detroit Tigers will clinch in 6 whether it’s St. Louis or San Francisco

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When the Detroit Tigers completed a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees to win the ALCS last Thursday it appeared the World Series matchup was set.

Over in the National League, St. Louis had taken a 3-1 lead over San Francisco with Game 5 to play Friday in the Cardinals’ home ballpark. But then the San Francisco Giants, who had come back to win three straight games against Cincinnati to win their NLDS series after dropping the first two, showed they were not ready for their 2012 season to end.

Facing elimination the Giants defeated the Cards 5-0 on Friday night behind a surprisingly solid pitching performance from Barry Zito and followed that win with a 6-1 home victory on Sunday night. Those back-to-back wins while facing elimination evened the series at 3-3 headed into Monday night’s Game 7.

The Giants were 5 for 5 when facing elimination this season.

It will be interesting to see how the TV ratings from Monday night will give a snapshot of America’s viewing tastes as the drama of a Game 7 went up against the final Presidential debate and the always popular Monday Night Football.

Barring a rainout the World Series is scheduled to start this Wednesday in either San Francisco or St. Louis. The Tigers will have been waiting almost a week for the Series to begin and there is concern as to whether the extended layoff will be a benefit or a hindrance.

Although there is concern about being rusty, the Tigers will be the better of the two teams in the World Series largely due to their outstanding starting rotation. One through four, theirs is the deepest of any team with the midseason addition of Anibal Sanchez and the continued development of Max Scherzer.

Add in Justin Verlander, arguably the best pitcher in the game, and Doug Fister, who set an AL record with nine consecutive strikeouts in a late season contest, and you have a very formidable rotation that will challenge either the Cardinals or Giants deep into each game.

The Tigers will be facing one of the last two teams to win the World Series as the Cardinals won the Fall Classic last season and the Giants did the same in 2012.

Both teams will thus have an edge in recent experience although Detroit was in the World Series in 2006, losing in 5 to an earlier version of the Cardinals. Current Tigers manager Jim Leyland was on the bench in that World Series, but long time Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, who won that 2006 Series in addition to the one last season, is now retired. Mike Matheny is now in charge of the Redbirds.

The Giants have a very solid starting rotation as well with Matt Cain the acknowledged ace of the staff. Ryan Vogelsong has been outstanding in the playoffs, but Madison Bumgarner has struggled and may continue to work out of the bullpen as both Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum each had starts in the NLCS.

The Cardinals and Tigers both have solid offenses that have been more productive than San Francisco, but the Giants have played better on the road than either Detroit or St. Louis. During the regular season the Giants were 46-35 away from home and have continued to play well on the road in the playoffs.

Both Detroit and the Cardinals were each just 38-43 on the road during the regular season. Detroit and St. Louis were both 50-31 at home and the Giants not far behind at 48-33.

Regardless of whether it’s San Francisco or St. Louis to challenge the Tigers the pick is Detroit to win the World Series in 6. That means the Tigers would be winning the Series on the road. Both aces are being used in Game 7 of the NLCS. 

Detroit, despite not having the home field advantage are a 5-8 favorite at LVH to win the World Series. The Giants are 3-1 and St. Louis is 7-2.

It’s a big edge for the Tigers to not have to potentially face either St. Louis’ Kyle Lohse or the Giants’ Matt Cain three times if the series goes the full 7, barring rainouts. Verlander would be able to get three starts for Detroit.

It’s just too hard to overlook the edge in starting pitching the Tigers enjoy, and that starting pitching backed up by a powerful offense led by leading MVP candidate (and the first Triple Crown winner since 1967) in Miguel Cabrera and the huge acquisition from last season (literally and figuratively), Prince Fielder.

There are concerns about Detroit’s defense and the bullpen, although in the ALCS lefty Phil Coke, the ex-Yankee, performed extremely well against his ex-mates.

St. Louis showed some issues on defense in several of their NLCS games against the Giants.

In betting the individual games of the World Series the first thought that comes to mind is to look UNDER before OVER. At Totals of 7 or higher, especially in the NL venue, the UNDER is the preferred play. 

In Detroit we hopefully will get to play UNDER 7½ or possibly 8 but with all games at night and quite possibly in relatively chilly temperatures the UNDER is preferred.

In playing individual games the first look will be to the underdog but within certain parameters. If the Giants or Cardinals are at least +150 against Verlander then the Underdog is worth a play. At -150 or less Verlander and the Tigers are playable under all circumstances.

Detroit is also playable as underdogs of +110 or more in all matchups.

The Giants and Cardinals are playable as underdogs of +125 or more against any other Detroit starter with a couple of exceptions regarding the Giants.

If the Giants start Barry Zito or Tim Lincecum then Detroit would be playable as favorites of -140 or less at home and as favorites of -125 or less on the road.

Andy Iskoe and his Logical Approach is one of the most popular statistical breakdowns in sports betting. Andy is also a longtime baseball and football columnist at GT. Contact Andy at Andy­[email protected]

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About the Author

Andy Iskoe

Owner and author of “The Logical Approach,” Andy Iskoe has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football.

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