The winner of Game 1 has won eight of nine and 13 of the last 15 World Series. There have been 103 best-of-7 World Series, and the winner of Game 1 has gone on to win the series 63.1 percent of the time. Having home-field advantage also has been critical, as the team with home-field in the World Series is 21-5 since 1985. That win by the National League in the All-Star Game could be key for the Giants.
Here is a look at the Game 1 pitching matchup between the Tigers’ Justin Verlander and the Giants’ Barry Zito:
Verlander Heating Up
There may not be a hotter pitcher in baseball right now than Verlander. In his last seven starts (regular season and postseason), the Detroit ace is 7-0 with a 0.69 ERA. That includes two victories over the Oakland Athletics in the AL Division Series and a dominant effort against the New York Yankees in the AL Championship Series in which he allowed one run in 8 1/3 innings.
Zito Surging Late
It has been a tale of two seasons for Zito, who makes his World Series debut tonight after being left off the Giants postseason roster in 2010. Zito had a 4.42 ERA and .268 opponent batting average with runners on through the end of August, but since then he is 6-0 with a 2.74 ERA and a .152 opponent batting average with men on base.
Odds And Ends
*The Tigers are 2-7-1 all-time in Game 1 of World Series, while the Giants are 11-7 all-time in World Series openers.
*Prince Fielder makes his first World Series appearance, while Miguel Cabrera becomes the fourth Triple Crown winner to play in the World Series.
*Pablo Sandoval has an RBI in each of his last five games, tied with Barry Bonds for longest streak in Giants postseason history.