In many ways, game three of the World Series on Saturday marks a final chance for the Detroit Tigers to win the 2012 Major League Baseball title.
If they lose and fall behind three games-to-none, they won’t officially be eliminated (it is a best-of-seven-game series), but no team has ever comeback from that deficit to win a World Series. (In fact, 78 percent of teams that have gone up 2-0 in the 100-year-plus history of the World Series – like the San Francisco Giants currently are – have gone on to win it all.)
It won’t be easy for the Tigers. Giants’ starter Ryan Vogelsong has been fantastic in these playoffs, posting a 1.42 ERA in three starts. Even more troubling is how poorly the Tigers have swung the bat. If you don’t include the ninth inning of game one – when the result was in little doubt – Detroit hitters have tallied just one run and nine hits over two contests. A vast majority simply look listless.
That said there is some hope. Tigers’ pitcher Anibal Sanchez has been throwing the ball very well as of late. In his last outing he shutout the New York Yankees for seven innings in game two of the American League Championship Series.
In addition, the Tigers will be glad to return to Comerica Park. At home, during the regular season, Detroit was 50-31 (.617 winning percentage) compared to 38-43 (.469) on the road.
It’s that last stat that makes me go with the Tigers (on at 1.65) in what is a very difficult game to call. Detroit needs to get an early lead – something they haven’t done at any point in the first two games. If they do, they’ll get the better of the Giants, who can be had at 2.25.