WS predictions: Who do the experts like?

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WS predictions: Who do the experts like?

CSNBayArea.com has scoured the internet for expert predictions for the 2012 World Series. For each web site, we have supplied you with one person who likes the Giants and another who likes the Tigers. And you can click on the names for a direct link to all their site's predictions. Enjoy!

Yahoo Sports
Tim Brown:
I picked the Giants before the playoffs started, and it feels a little bit like staying in a marriage for the sake of the kids, but Im going to stick with the Giants. I like their plan right now. I like the way they feel about themselves. And I like the way that theyre going to play the game better than the Tigers will. I like seven (games) and I like Ryan Vogelsong coming back in Game 7 and winning it for them.
Jeff Passan:
Tigers ran roughshod through the American League this season. This was a team that underachieved during the regular season, finally is finding its stride during the postseason. I think Detroit takes home the World Series this year (in five games). I think this is going to be a quick one.

Sports Illustrated
Tom Verducci
The Tigers should win this fairly easily, with Justin Verlander going twice in the first five games. But their layoff and defense are problematic, and the Giants rate the edge in bullpens. GIANTS IN SEVEN.
Joe Lemire
San Francisco's 6-0 record when facing elimination this postseason is commendable but won't be enough, as Detroit's red-hot rotation and superior offensive firepower overcome its lack of bullpen depth. TIGERS IN SIX.

Fox Sports
Ken Rosenthal
I love the Giants, the way they play defense, the way they are resourceful on offense, and the way they just find ways to get it done. So when we look at this thing, everyone is going to favor the Tigers. But dont count the Giants out. Dont count them out at all.
Dave Hogg
Both managers are career baseball men that have managed World Series champions, so there isn't likely to be a decisive edge there. If Detroit's starters keep pitching the way they have, no team in baseball is going to beat them. The Giants have had to pull out six straight elimination games already, and it says here their luck runs out against Detroit's Big Four. TIGERS IN FIVE.

CBS Sports
Matt Snyder
On paper, the Tigers' starting pitching is just too imposing -- much like we've said about the Giants before, no? -- but at some point you give up with the paper and shred it. The Giants won't die, just like the Cardinals team that they just beat wouldn't die last season. The Tigers have their excellent starting pitching lined up perfectly, so they'll jump out to an early lead (2-0? 3-1?). Then the Giants will find a way to crawl back, just as they've done in the first two series. And this time, the Giants' faithful get to celebrate the World Series championship with their team in AT&T Park. Giants in 7. MVP: Buster Posey
Danny Knobler
Sorry, Giants fans. I know I (wrongly) picked against your team in 2010. I know I (wrongly) said your team was going to lose to the Reds in the Division Series this year. I know I've been plenty wrong on them (even though I did rightly pick them to win the National League West this year). I know I'm risking being badly wrong on them one more time. But I have no choice. Back in spring training, I picked the Tigers to win the World Series, and it's so rare that one of my World Series picks gets this far (I had Red Sox vs. Braves in 2011!), that I have no choice but to stick with them now. So I'm saying the Giants run into the same problem that their good friends, the A's, did in the Division Series. They'll lose to Justin Verlander in Game 1. And when they lose two of the next three, Verlander will be there to send them home in Game 5 in Detroit. Tigers in 5. MVP: Justin Verlander

MLB.com
Anthony Castrovince
Teams with the homefield advantage have won 21 of the last 26 World Series, and each of the last nine World Series Game 7s. That's a pretty good precedent for the club that can't be killed, and I like the Giants' chances of locking up their second World Series crown in three years. Giants in six.
Richard Justice
Inch by inch, the Tigers emerged as the team they were expected to be. Unless the five days off has somehow taken away their edge, the Tigers have put themselves in the best position possible to win a World Series. There wasn't a lot of joy in the journey at times, but there's plenty to go around now.

ESPN.com
Jim BowdenThe Giants will win the World Series as I predicted before the postseason because their matchup bullpen will be the difference-maker. Giants in 6
Keith LawThe Tigers' starting pitching advantage trumps Bochy's bottomless bullpen. Tigers in 5

Sporting News
Anthony WitradoThe San Francisco Giants dont line up well when it comes to their starting pitching, so common sense tells me to pick the Detroit Tigers to win it all. But Ive also covered six Giants games this postseason, and that tells me to pick them, so I will. Giants in 7.
Bob HilleSorry, San Fran, Im not a big believer in momentum in baseball. I am, however, a big believer in pitching. Detroit has its rotation lined up; its 'pen has covered Valverdes fire-starter ways. Unless the Tigers have a defensive meltdown (it could happen), then theyre too much. Tigers in 6.

Down on the Farm: Is there a two-way star in MLB's future?

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AP

Down on the Farm: Is there a two-way star in MLB's future?

This game is supposed to be hard. Somehow in the 2017 MLB Draft, two of the top prospects have so much talent they put teams in a tough spot. 

High School phenom Hunter Greene and University of Louisville star Brendan McKay were both options to go No. 1 overall to the Minnesota Twins. The only question with them was, where would they play? No, this isn't because the two are DH-type players who can't stay on the field. Instead, the two are marvels at the plate and on the mound, making the idea of a possible two-way MLB star, start to seem real. 

“I think it’s really just that hard," says Sacramento River Cats pitcher Michael Roth. "I don’t really know if that’s possible." 

If it was up to Roth, he would have made MLB scouts fret over what to label him as well. Roth, who wound up as a College World Series legend on the mound for South Carolina, came to the school with intentions of a career at first base. 

The most games Roth appeared in as a hitter in college were 17 as a senior. He batted .211 that season and the lefty wound up going to the Angels in the ninth round of the draft after completing one of the greatest college careers ever as a pitcher.

As strictly a pitcher, and serving as both a starter and reliever, Roth knows the rigors he must put in before a game. This is hours of work, all prior to a three-hour game. 

"From a pitcher’s perspective, I know how much work goes into honing our craft and you’re never perfect," said Roth. "I mean, you’re always working on it and there’s still something each day that you don’t think you did well enough."

With his past of a former two-way player himself in college who focused more on offense when first arriving on campus, Roth says the same when it comes to position players. 

"I mean they have to put time into honing their craft whether it be on the field fielding ground balls or taking fly balls in the outfield and then taking swings. And it’s a lot of work,” Roth continues. 

For Greene and McKay, the numbers speak for themselves. Maybe they really are the ones.

Greene, a 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher and shortstop, hit .324 with six home runs in 30 games as a senior at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif. On the mound, with a fastball that can touch 102 miles per hour, Greene allowed a total of three earned runs in 28 innings pitched with 43 strikeouts.

Maybe he is the one.

College baseball's Colossus of Clout put up numbers among the best bats and arms in the country for the Cardinals. McKay led Louisville to the College World Series where his amateur career ended in a 4-3 loss to TCU, going out with a bang as he bashed his 18th home run of the year, 20 rows deep into the right-field bleachers. He finished his junior year at the plate hitting .341 with 18 home runs. His pitching stats weren’t far behind, going 11-3 as he posted a 2.56 ERA and struck out 146 in 109 innings pitched. 

McKay is the only person to win the John Olerud Award, given to the top two-way college baseball player in the country, more than once. He won it three straight years, every single season of his college career. 

Maybe he is the one. 

These are two supreme athletes at 17 years old (Greene) and 21 (McKay). They have not peaked and theoretically can only improve their bodies in the next few years. That’s not the problem.  

“As a pitcher, we’re constantly doing things for our body and same thing for position players,” Roth said. “That’s the biggest thing, recovery. 

“I remember days where I would actually pitch and hit sometimes. I would start on a Friday and then every once in a while on Sunday I would get the DH spot in college and at DH sometimes I could feel on the follow through of my swing, I was tight in my shoulder. Things like that can inhibit your swing.” 

On draft night, Greene went No. 2 overall to the Reds while McKay was selected No. 4 overall by the Rays. Officially, Greene was announced as a right-handed pitcher and McKay a first baseman. Maybe their way to the majors is a one-way street. But maybe in the case of Greene or McKay, there's a two-lane road.

Roth is running down the path of a realist. Don’t mistake him for a pessimist. Like any other baseball fan or player that grew up throwing as hard as they could and trying to hit balls to sights unseen, he wants to see a two-way star in the bigs. 

“I just don’t know how it would really work. Obviously, they’d have to be a specimen too,” Roth said before he smiles with a short laugh and says, “I think that would be really cool if someone could do it because that means they’re a freak. That would be cool, but tough.”

All it takes is one. 

Blach only lasts three innings as Giants get mashed by Mets in loss

Blach only lasts three innings as Giants get mashed by Mets in loss

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yoenis Cespedes had three hits including a two-run homer and Lucas Duda had three hits including a solo blast as the New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 11-4 on Friday night.

The win snapped the Mets' four-game losing streak. They had lost seven of eight.

The Giants have lost 10 of their last 11 games, 12 of their last 14 and 19 of their last 24.

Along with Cespedes and Duda, Asdrubal Cabrera, Wilmer Flores and Michael Conforto all had three hits.

After being held to five runs over their last three games, the Mets broke out their hitting slump, combining for 20 hits.

All but one Mets starter (Jose Reyes) had at least one hit and all but two (Reyes and Cabrera) drove in at least one run.

Seth Lugo (2-1) won for the third time in his last four starts. He gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings and was 1 for 2 with one RBI.

Gorkys Hernandez hit a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth off Lugo that spoiled his bid for a fifth straight quality start.

Cespedes' ninth homer of the season highlighted a six-run second inning in which the Mets sent 10 batters to the plate.

Cespedes had a double in the sixth that highlighted a three-run inning.

In 13 games since coming off the disabled list Cespedes is 17 for 43 with seven extra-base hits including three home runs.

He's 8 for 18 with three home runs in his last four games at AT&T Park going back to last season.

Ty Blach (4-5) gave up seven runs in three innings. He's 0-3 with a 6.84 ERA in his last five starts.

Cabrera was activated from the disabled list and inserted into the New York Mets' starting lineup at second base rather than shortstop and he said he wants to be traded. Cabrera had three hits Friday night.

The 31-year-old, a two-time All-Star and a veteran of 11 big league seasons, had not started at second since Sept. 28, 2014. The Mets started Jose Reyes at shortstop against San Francisco on Friday night and Wilmer Flores at third.

TRANSACTIONS:

Mets: Second-round draft selection Mark Vientos signed out of high school for a $1.5 million signing bonus. The infielder was the 59th overall selection in this year's draft. . The Mets also signed their third- and fifth-round picks, OF Quinn Brodey and 1B/OF Matt Winaker (both from Stanford). . Brodey signed for a $500,000 bonus and Winaker for $280,000.

Giants: LHP Bryan Morris was designated for assignment and Steven Okert was called up from Triple-A Sacramento.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (separated left shoulder) threw 45 pitches in a simulated game on Wednesday at the team's spring training complex in Scottsdale, Arizona. . Utilityman Eduardo Nunez went on the 10-day DL with a hamstring injury. The Giants activated 3B Conor Gillaspie (back spasms).

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom (6-3, 394 ERA) has allowed one earned run over 17 innings in his last two starts. He's 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA in five career starts against the Giants. San Francisco RHP Johnny Cueto (5-7, 4.42) is 1-6 with a 4.13 ERA in his last nine starts. He's 4-4 with a 3.75 ERA in 12 career starts against the Mets