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.

Three more Giants likely to join Posey in World Baseball Classic

Three more Giants likely to join Posey in World Baseball Classic

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Four years ago, Giants coaches made no secret of the fact that they felt some veterans were affected by playing in the World Baseball Classic. The Giants were coming off a long postseason run, but eight of their big leaguers chose to participate in the 2013 event. 

Four years later, the list is down to just four, and the Giants won’t stand in their way. Buster Posey has already been announced as a catcher for Team USA and Brandon Crawford is expected to play as well. Johnny Cueto has told the Giants that he intends on pitching for the Dominican Republic and Albert Suarez plans to pitch for his native Venezuela. 

In past years, clubs have primarily been concerned about pitchers. In an odd way, hitters are almost better off playing in the WBC instead of facing amped up prospects in Cactus League games. The Giants learned that lesson the hard way in 2015 when Hunter Pence was drilled by a prospect with a lack of command, causing him to miss the start of the season. For pitchers, the run-up to Opening Day is a tedious one, but Giants officials said they’re not concerned about their co-ace, Cueto, participating. 

“Major League Baseball is doing everything it can to help us protect them in terms of the quantity of players on the roster and pitch counts and innings,” general manager Bobby Evans said. “We feel MLB is working carefully to help all of us manage guys while they’re away from camp. We feel as confident as ever that they’ll be protected. Lessons have been learned, and everyone involved will try to find ways to avoid issues.”

If Crawford commits to playing, he could find himself in a fun spot. Nolan Arenado has already said he will play for the United States and the two National League West stars could form one hell of a defensive duo on the left side of the infield. Posey will start for a team that already has Max Scherzer and Chris Archer as part of the starting staff. Evans said the teams will carry three catchers, and Posey isn’t expected to be overworked. His manager said he’s not worried about the decision. Posey will simply have to start his preparation process a bit sooner.

“I’m fine with it,” Bruce Bochy said of Posey playing. “Buster wants to do it and I’m good with it.”

This will be the fourth edition of the WBC. In 2013, the Giants were represented by Ryan Vogelsong, Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo, Angel Pagan, Santiago Casilla, Marco Scutaro, Pablo Sandoval and Jose Mijares. 

Bochy: Game 4 loss to Cubs toughest I've ever had to bounce back from

Bochy: Game 4 loss to Cubs toughest I've ever had to bounce back from

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Bruce Bochy had grown accustomed to being in the October spotlight during even years, so he had a hard time getting on board as a spectator during one of the most exciting postseasons in recent memory. 

Bochy’s Giants blew a three-run lead in their final game of the season, a loss so devastating that several players headed home the next day without even packing up their lockers. Two months later, Bochy is all smiles. He likes his team, and on Monday he got the closer he needed back in Game 4 of the NLDS. 

Bochy sat down with CSN Bay Area on Tuesday for a one-on-one interview about Mark Melancon, left field, that postseason loss, his new coaches and much more. It will air tonight on SportsTalk Live at 5 p.m. and we’ll run the whole thing back as a podcast. But for now, here are Bochy’s thoughts on the loss that ended his even-year run: 

“I had a hard time, I’m not going to lie. In all my years, that’s the toughest game I’ve ever had to bounce back off of,” he said. “It took a while. It was hard to watch that first postseason game but gradually it got a little better. Just the way we went out, that’s a tough way to go. Our bullpen has been such a big reason for our success so to go out that way, it really wasn’t just that game — it was the second half — we just had a hard time trying to get it figured out. 

“You know, you’ve got to put it behind you, but I’m not going to lie, that was a pretty big blow to the chin. It took a while to get over it.” 

The Giants led the Cubs 5-2 when Bochy made the decision to pull Matt Moore after eight brilliant innings and 120 pitches. That night, Moore and Bochy and everyone else involved said that there was a consensus that Moore had reached the end of the line. Two months later, Bochy doesn’t regret the move. Moore’s 120 pitches went down as the postseason high. 

“I think you can always look back, but these cards have backs on them,” Bochy said. “I felt good about protecting Moore. If he goes back out there he’s probably looking at 135 or maybe more pitches or you’ve got to bring a reliever in with men on base. I felt with the three-run lead that the guys I had could get three outs.” 

Derek Law was the first man out of the bullpen and he gave up a single that was inches from Brandon Crawford’s glove. Javier Lopez walked Anthony Rizzo. Sergio Romo entered and gave up a double to Ben Zobrist. Will Smith gave up a single to pinch-hitter Willson Contreras. After an error, Hunter Strickland gave up a single to Javier Baez. The Cubs won 6-5 and went on to win the World Series. 

“We knew we could get the matchups that we wanted,” Bochy said on Tuesday. “It started out with Law and he got the ground ball right in the shift. The walk hurt. We got behind Rizzo and ended up walking him and Romo ended up getting behind Zobrist and that hurt, the double. And then we had Smitty. I was comfortable and sure they put in the right-handed bat, but the tying run was on second and I didn’t want a left-handed bat up there to pull the ball. He hits a ball that Smitty doesn’t quite get to, a seeing-eye base hit, and unlike us, we made a costly error. There was another, I felt, like a cheap hit there.

“But these are moments you relive. The good ones, but the bad ones stay with you too sometimes.”