MLB: World Series Game 3 – Giants at Tigers

FALLING FLAT: After failing to create any sort of offense in San Francisco, the Tigers hope some home cooking can bring life back to their bats.

What better way to enjoy the weekend than with a pair of World Series games? The series shifts to Detroit for the next two games (and potentially Game 5 as well).

The Giants won the first two games of the series at home, setting themselves up nicely to capture their second World Series in the past three years. Teams that win the opening two World Series games have won 29 out of a possible 36 World Series.

San Francisco Giants at Detroit Tigers (-175, 7.5)
5PM, Sportsnet

San Francisco Giants: Ryan Vogelson
Detroit Tigers: Anibal Sanchez

Vogelsong has been dominant for the Giants this postseason, compiling a 2-0 record with a stellar 1.42 ERA in his three postseason starts this year. In his last start (Game 6 of the NLCS), he struck out nine Cardinals batters en route to a stellar four-hit performance. Vogelsong’s road ERA (3.87) is almost a full run higher than his home ERA – keep that in mind when placing your bets for Saturday night’s game.

The Tigers were a very strong ball club at home this season, going 50-31 (compared to a very mediocre 38-43 road record). They have yet to lose a home game during this postseason, as well. Another reason to favor the Tigers in this matchup – they can slide Delmon Young into the designated hitter spot, thus avoiding the disaster that is Delmon Young in left field.

Vogelsong doesn’t have the pedigree or track record of Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, or Barry Zito, but he is throwing the ball better than any Giants pitcher right now, and he is in line to start Game 7 if the series goes the distance, too. The Giants offense cooled off a bit in Game 2, but that was bound to happen against a pitcher like Doug Fister. Star catcher Buster Posey continued his clutch play, and he now has at least one hit in all seven World Series games he has appeared in.

The Giants hitters are pretty familiar with Sanchez, who spent the first six years of his career playing in the National League. However, like Vogelsong, Sanchez has been simply dominant this postseason, allowing a combined two earned runs over his two starts (he finished the regular season pitching at an elite level, as well).

The Tigers have struggled against lefties all season, and that proved to be true against Zito and Bumgarner. Will their fortunes change against Vogelsong, a righty?

This series has been a rollercoaster ride featuring a lot of good luck going San Francisco’s way. The lucky bounce off of the third base bag in Game 2 and the bunt that hugged the foul line are just two examples. Vogelsong has been dominant recently, and Sanchez had a very strong season for Detroit. There may be only one guarantee for the games this weekend – Hunter Pence is going to look like a very scary man every time he steps up to the plate.

For Game 4, the Tigers are going to be handing the ball to the dominant Max Scherzer, who had his fantastic 2012 regular season overshadowed by the even more impressive season from teammate Justin Verlander. If the Tigers are down 3-0 facing elimination, there aren’t many pitchers better than Scherzer at shutting down an offense.

Giants to Win (+125)
Total runs Under 7.5 (-138)