The World Series starts in about five minutes and I just had some final thoughts that I wanted to post:
1) San Francisco has a predominately right-handed line-up and Anaheim has a predominately right-handed pitching staff.
However, the only lefty starter (Washburn) will probably go three times. Schoeneweiss is the only other lefty on the staff and he will probably be reserved as Bonds' personal caddy.
I am surprised that lefty reliever Dennis Cook was not activated by the Angels and that left-handed batter Damon Minor was not activated by the Giants.
I think this will be less of an edge for the Angels given that Bonds is a lefty and Snow is hot. The undermanned (left-handed) Angels bullpen may be an issue when they go to San Francisco.
The Angels staff's propensity to give up home runs and the Giants propensity to hit home runs should also be a factor.
2) San Francisco's DH: On the rightside the options are Ramon Martinez, which leaves the bench short for backup infielders, Shawon Dunston, or Tsuyoshi Shinjo. None are very savory options. On the left-side, there is basically Tom Goodwin, also not a great option. Minor could have been helpful. Given that possibly four games will be played in Anaheim with the DH, this could be a factor against the Giants.
3) Bonds: Bonds will get walked a lot, I think, in this series. The Angels will have to walk Bonds a good deal of the time because of the probable righty-to-lefty matchup. Washburn will probably challenge Bonds and was probably put in to start the first game in part to do so. But if first base is open, with one or two outs, I would expect the Angels to walk him. It's just the book on Bonds now. No one wants to be beaten by pitching to him.
The question for me of is not so much what the Angels will do against Bonds as what Kent and Santiago do against the Angels. Kent so far has had a poor postseason, and his inability to put pressure on the opponent's staff has allowed them to walk Bonds. Santiago has had a good postseason and made teams pay for walking Bonds. They both need good series.
4) Francisco Rodriguez: The Angels have quickly grown to rely on the rookie. He had a rough outing in the last game against Minnesota getting a little wild. He was very wild in the minors and either he was starting to tire, having been used so often, or his wildness was returning. Either way, I think that Rodriguez as good as he is could be an Achilles heel for Anaheim.
5) Angels' offense: I'm not sure what to make of the Angels' offense. Aside from two incredible innings, the Angels have relied very heavily on the home run. That is uncharacteristic given their regular season performance. I would have to think that this does not bode well for the Angels' offense in the Series, unless, of course, they hit a ton of home runs.
Final prediction: Giants in 6. The Giant home runs, Rodriguez potential Shiraldi-ing, and the Angels' potentially poor offense outweigh the Giants' lack of a DH.