No one in their right mind suspected the Tigers would be burdened by a 2-0 deficit headed into their first home game of this World Series. Justin Verlander was supposed to eat the Giants' bats for lunch in game one and got Kung Fu Panda'd. Even when Verlander failed to dominate, Doug Fister followed with a statistical edge on his pitching counterpart Madison Bumgarner in Game 2. Yet it was Bumgarner who silenced his opponent's bats while his offense did just enough to pull out a close Giants victory without driving in either of its two runs via a base hit.
Tonight the Tigers hope that a change in venue, dramatic drop in temperature and the roar of their home crowd help them pull out a Game 3 win and this rout into a series again. Anibal Sanchez will take the mound for Detroit and hope his 9-13 regular season record is not indicative of the outcome versus San Francisco. The Tigers need him to give up three or fewer runs in the worst way.
San Francisco counters with Ryan Vogelsong, one of their best players during the 2012 MLB Playoffs thus far with a 2-0 record and excellent 1.42 ERA through three starts. You would think Vogelsong is the last guy the Tigers want to see, but he could be just what they need to kick start their offense.
Unlike Game 1 and 2 starters Barry Zito and Madison Bumgarner, Vogelsong is a right-handed pitcher. The Tigers have struggled with lefties this postseason and especially against the Giants thus far, a trend that bled through from the regular season where they hit 20 points higher versus lefties. Should they survive, the Tigers will face another righty in San Francisco ace Matt Cain on Sunday night.
This game is as tough to predict as the first two. Though statistically the game seems to favor Detroit with them returning home and facing a righty, the Giants are executing when they need to right now and the Tigers are not. My prediction is for the Giants to take a commanding 3-0 lead after winning tonight's game 5-3.
Tonight's World Series Game 3 will be televised live on Fox in high definition at 8:07 EST /PST. An official live streaming option is available via postseason.tv right here for $14.99. An alternate free online streaming option to watch from the comfort of your computer chair is here, though make sure you have adequate anti-virus protection running in case and nefarious ads pop up.