While the Tigers route to the Series was certainly less stressful, the Giants should still provide a stiff challenge.
Coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the NLDS and a 3-1deficit in the NLCS, the Giants have proved to be a resilient bunch. While the Giants roster may not possess the star power that the Tigers boast, I see this as anything but a walk in the (AT&T) Park.
The two teams offer a difference in style. The Tigers boast more pure power than the Giants, but San Francisco has perhaps a better ability to manufacture runs. That may be an issue in the four games that could potentially be played in San Francisco.
Power bats are seemingly neutralized at AT&T. The park surrendered only 84 homers in 2012, the fewest in baseball. Comerica Park by comparison yielded 159, an it is considered a pitchers park.
This all points to the theory that the Tigers table setters must be at their best. Sacrifice bunts and the occasional hit-and-run may be necessary more that usual to for a Tigers offense that relies more on the thunder provided by Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Delmon Young.
The Giants have had many examples of how they like to play the game this post season, and it has served them well.
Barry Zito dropped down a perfect bunt with David Freese playing back at third base in Game 5 of the NLCS. Zito beat it out for an infield hit and it helped fuel a 4-run fourth in a 5-0 win. In Game 7, Marco Scutaro's hit-and-run single in the first inning set up the game's first run in a 9-0 win in the clincher.
The Giants dropped down 69 sacrifice bunts this season, one of the top totals in the N.L. The Tigers by comparison had only 36. Based on their personnel, it clearly is a big part of what they do.
The Tigers rotation will also be a key. The Bengals have a decided advantage in that area and the pressure will be on to continue to pitch the way they have in the post season. This becomes particularly important against a Giants offense that has proven to be quite potent in stretches.
The Giants offense has scored four or more runs in an inning five times in the post season. The Tigers staff will need to control the damage and limit the big innings in the series.
The Tigers are rested and an early clinch provided them with an opportunity to set their rotation for the series. With Justin Verlander going in Game 1, the Tigers should get off to a good start.