Home » Blog » World Series Game 1: Giants Zito vs. Tigers Verlander

World Series Game 1: Giants Zito vs. Tigers Verlander

After months of regular season play and the post season, baseball fans are finally getting the long-awaited prize, the World Series.

Meet your two teams: the San Francisco Giants vs. the Detroit Tigers.

Did you really think in the spring it would be these two meeting in October? Probably not.

The Tigers have enjoyed a nice rest after sweeping the New York Yankees. Physically they’re rested but mentally the time off must have been frustrating.

Tigers relief pitcher Jose Valverde said of the break, “I feel like I haven’t played in over two months when you clinch so quick like this and have to wait for the other team.

The Giants will enter the series with momentum after fighting off the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday to gain entry to the coveted series. They may be tired but they could have the mental advantage.

Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander

On Wednesday night for Game 1, lefty Giants pitcher Barry Zito (15-8, 4.15 ERA) will take the mound against the Tigers Justin Verlander (17-8, 2.64 ERA) at home.

You could call it the battle of the Cy Young winners.

Verlander enters the game with high expectations; he is the team’s pitching jewel and has had a week off from his last start.

The player has pitched in a World Series before–his rookie season–and now he’ll enter with a greater understanding of the stakes and more experience. In 2006 when he pitched in the first game of the series, he allowed six earned runs with one error.

The Tigers were defeated by the Cardinals, 7-2.

Zito brings a more interesting story, filled with overcoming obstacles. Under Zito, the Giants have won in his last 13 starts. In the team’s 2010 series appearance, Zito had been left off the roster and you could say this is the redemption series for him.

Perhaps the biggest question for him is can he repeat his pitching against the Cardinals? A do over of  7 2/3 innings shutout pitching will be tough but you have to think Zito is on a mission with a laser beam focus.

Giants pitcher Barry Zito

He will pitch against to a tough Tigers trio: Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Delmon Young. These players will be pitched to with kid gloves on but the team has struggled against lefty pitchers.

As for Verlander, he’ll face the Giants talented second baseman Marco Scutaro. Battling a sore hip, this player still tied an NLCS record with his 14 hits. Pablo Sandoval as the team’s No. 3 hitter is also a force to be reckoned with; combined these two were 33 for 98 (.337) during the postseason.

For Detroit, they allowed only six runs during the ALCS. With the exception of three innings, the Tigers held the Yankees scoreless in 36 innings.

Who’s going to have a better Game 1? Looking at total strikeouts, bettors have Verlander at 7.5 vs Zito at 3.5.

No pressure here but the Game 1 winner has taken the last eight of nine World Series wins.

And because baseball fans love their stats, here’s one that may put the Giants as the favorites to win: In three past World Series, it has pitted one team that went to Game 7 in the LCS vs. one that swept its series. In all three cases, the team with the Game 7 win “breezed” on to the championship.

Here’s a look at upcoming pitching for the Series:

  • Game 2: Thursday Tigers (Righty Doug Fister 10-10, 3.45) at Giants (Lefty Madison Bumgarner 16-11, 3.37)
  • Game 3: Saturday Giants (Righty Ryan Vogelsong 14-9, 3.37) at Tigers (Righty Anibal Sanchez 4-6, 3.74)
  • Game 4: Sunday Giants (Righty Matt Cain 16-5, 2.79) at Tigers (Righty Max Scherzer 16-7, 3.74)
For Game 1, the Tigers get the nod for the win at -164/+154 with a 6.5 over/under.

And while it’s still early, here’s a look at the possible MVP candidates and their odds to bring it home:

Miguel Cabrera (DET)  5/1

Buster Posey (SF)  13/2

Verlander (DET)   8/1

Prince Fielder (DET)  8/1

Delmon Young (DET)   12/1


  • 100%