at SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
World Series Game 2 - San Francisco leads series 1-0
First pitch: Thursday, 8:05 p.m. EDT
Line: Detroit -120, San Francisco +110, Total: 7
On the back of Pablo Sandoval’s three home runs, the Giants took a 1-0 lead in the Fall Classic and will look to expand that cushion Thursday night against the Tigers.
Detroit’s Game 2 starter Doug Fister has had a strong 2012 season, combining for a 10-10 record, 3.29 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. This includes a pair of no-decisions in his two playoff starts, but led the Tigers to victory in each of them with a 1.35 ERA, after most recently tossing 6.1 scoreless against the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS. And the Tigers can expect him to keep it up as he licks his chops facing NL teams—in two interleague starts this year he had a 1.50 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Taking the mound against Fister is Madison Bumgarner, who has been dreadful as of late. In his two postseason starts he has lasted a total of eight innings while giving up 10 runs and 15 hits for an 11.25 ERA and 2.13 WHIP. And it’s not as if Bumgarner finished the regular season any better, going 2-4 with a 5.89 ERA and 1.69 WHIP in his final seven starts. Play on DETROIT to take advantage of this southpaw’s struggles and even this series at one apiece.
This two-star FoxSheets also trend also expects the Tigers to prevail:
Play On - All teams with a money line of -100 to -150 (DETROIT) - allowing 4.7 or less runs/game on the season (AL) against opponent starting a over rested pitcher who is working on 7 or more days rest. (181-100 over the last 5 seasons.) (64.4%, +57.4 units. Rating = 2*).
After sweeping the Yankees and taking care of business against the A’s, Wednesday’s loss brought the Detroit pitching staff back down the earth after they had given up a total of six runs in the previous five games. And after Justin Verlander went just four innings Wednesday, they will be hoping Fister (2-0, 1.75 ERA in four career playoff starts) can spare the bullpen of some duty on Thursday. Detroit relievers have a 3.82 ERA in 2012 and a 4.38 ERA in the playoffs, but did quite well in interleague play with a 2.33 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 58 K's in 54 IP. Fister is averaging a decent 6.2 innings per start in 2012, but does much better in night games, where he has a 2.66 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and averages 6.6 innings per start. And it will be interesting to see how he reacts to not having pitched since October 13. He has never started on more than six days of rest in his career. Fister has never faced the Giants, but has held red-hot Marco Scutaro (.432 BA during 11-game hit streak) to just one hit in 11 at-bats against him.
Maybe Bumgarner can find his form by trying to replicate his one career start against the Tigers, a no-decision victory for the Giants last year in which he tossed 7.1 innings and allowed just one run on five hits, while striking out nine. The surprising part about Bumgarner’s late-season struggles is how well he pitched in the 2010 playoffs, when he registered a 2-0 record, 2.18 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in four appearances (three starts). If Bumgarner continues to just make it four innings, his only hope is the dominant San Francisco bullpen that has a 3.09 ERA and 1.19 WHIP at home in 2012. More impressive than that split, however, is their 2.78 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in the postseason, striking out 45 and allowing just one home run in 45.1 innings of work. Bumgarner also knows he'll likely get some run support considering his Giants teammates have scored 28 runs in the past four games, batting .316 with runners in scoring position.