PHI: Rodrigo Lopez (3-0) 3.09 ERA. SFO: Jonathan Sanchez (3-9) 4.92 ERA.
Okay, I know this is late, but I didn't want to get into the habit of missing previews. Furthermore, I'm very intrigued by this series as a whole. It's a matchup of two very different teams in terms of how their team is made up. The Phillies, in all honesty, are scary offensively. The fivesome of Victorino, Utley, Werth, Howard and Ibanez is flat out frightening. They can hit bombs, they can get big hits and they make it downright hard for pitchers when they face the first five hitters of the lineup. I hate to admit this, but other than the Dodgers, the Phillies have the best offensive lineup in the National League.
That being said, the Giants have one of the best rotations in the league. They have Lincecum and Cain, and have a great bullpen in guys like Affeldt and even Wilson, who is starting to shake off the rust he had during those last couple of outings in June. The only problem? The Giants won't be throwing out their best two starters in this series as Cain pitched the third game of the Pittsburgh series and won't see any action in the four game series. Thus, with Sanchez, Sadowski and Zito on the hill, this series could be a nightmare for Giants fans if the ball doesn't fall right. However, with the series at home, and the fact they are away from Coors Field 2.0 in Citizens Bank Ballpark, I like the Giants' chances in this one.
Granted, they will need Sanchez and Sadowski not to blow up and they will need Zito to not give up those big innings, but with the way the Giants have been playing the last week, I'm definitely hopeful that the Giants will give the defending World Series champs a lot bigger challenge than most of the experts would think.
For game updates check out the SJ Mercury's Andrew Baggarly's Giants blog at Extra Baggs. For live game thread and chat, check out the McCovey Chronicles.