Given the rotation depth possessed by both San Francisco and Detroit, this year's World Series features as impressive a collection of starting pitchers as baseball fans have seen in years.
5. Max Scherzer » The regular-season stats are good but not eye-popping. Scherzer was 16-7 with a 3.74 ERA. But his style tends to rule in October. A true power pitcher, Scherzer struck out 231 batters. That's eight less than Verlander in 502Ú3 fewer innings.
4. Ryan Vogelsong » On Aug. 8, he was 10-5 with an incredible 2.27 ?ERA. The 35-year-old faded with a final ERA of 3.37. But he seems to have found his form again with three earned runs allowed in 19 postseason innings. San Francisco has won all three of his postseason starts.
3. Madison Bumgarner » It was a hard fade in September for the 23-year-old lefty. He had a 2.83 ERA after an Aug. 20 win. But that ERA ballooned to 3.37 over his final seven starts and Bumgarner gave up 10 runs in two playoff games. The Giants didn't even use him late in the NLCS. Would 10 days off be enough rest to help him get through one more start in 2012?
2. Matt Cain » He posted a 16-5?record with a 2.79 ERA for the Giants. Cain threw a perfect game against Houston on June?13. He was the starter for the National League in the All-Star Game and won it. So far Cain has four solid starts this October, including Game 7 of the NLCS.
1. Justin Verlander » Detroit's ace has rolled through the postseason so far and been arguably the best pitcher in baseball the last two years. A former Cy Young Award winner, Verlander was 17-8 this season with a 2.64 ERA and a major league best 239 strikeouts.
- Brian McNally