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Position-by-position World Series matchups

A photographer takes a picture of the logo

A photographer takes a picture of the logo at AT&T Park before practice for Game 1 of baseball's World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers. (Oct. 26, 2010) Credit: AP

First base

Rangers: Mitch Moreland. The rookie has wrested the full-time job away from Jorge Cantu. He puts together tough at-bats and plays strong defense.

Giants: Aubrey Huff. One of the best, most surprising free-agent acquisitions of last winter, Huff has a reputation for loving the spotlight. A better bat than glove.

Edge: Giants

Second base

Rangers: Ian Kinsler. Inconsistency has prevented him from fully living up to his hype, but he still serves as an asset on both sides of the ball.

Giants: Freddy Sanchez. His 2006 NL batting title gave him more acclaim than he probably deserved, yet like Kinsler, he still helps his club more than he hurts it.

Edge: Rangers

Shortstop

Rangers: Elvis Andrus. It's a pleasure to watch him play defense, although Ultimate Zone Rating measured a slip-off from 2009 to 2010. Not a run producer at all, and he occasionally runs the Rangers out of innings.

Giants: Edgar Renteria. He has been sharing the job with Juan Uribe. Renteria's best days are well behind him. He's pretty much a league-average shortstop now.

Edge: Rangers

Third base

Rangers: Michael Young. A "face of the franchise," Young doesn't match his stellar reputation with elite production. Yet he contributes his share of extra-base hits.

Giants: Juan Uribe. He gets some time at shortstop, at which point Pablo Sandoval plays third. Uribe's play this month and in 2005 (with the White Sox) have made him a postseason stud.

Edge: Rangers

Leftfield

Rangers: Nelson Cruz. He'll start Game 1 in leftfield, yielding to Vladimir Guerrero in right, and will start the Texas games in left against lefty starters. One of the game's underrated, underappreciated stars.

Giants: Pat Burrell. Picked up off the scrap heap after the Rays released him in May, he revived his career by delivering some much-needed pop to the San Francisco lineup.

Edge: Rangers

Centerfield
Rangers: Josh Hamilton: The best player in this series, easily. He clearly has recovered from the rib injury that sidelined him for most of September.

Centerfield: Andres Torres: One of the game's biggest surprises in 2010, he can run as well as get on base and field.

Edge: Rangers

Rightfield

Rangers: Jeff Francoeur. He'll likely start there in Games 3 and 4, against the Giants' lefties. A great athlete, but word on the street is he'll swing at anything.

Giants: Cody Ross. A San Francisco folk hero, Ross can crush a fastball. Just ask the Phillies. He's an adequate fielder.

Edge: Giants

Catcher

Rangers: Bengie Molina. He registered a pretty terrible season, yet pitchers enjoy working with him, and some big postseason hits increase his profile.

Giants: Buster Posey. He got the full-time job when the Giants traded Molina to Texas. A potentially elite bat for his position.

Edge: Giants

Designated hitter

Rangers: Vladimir Guerrero. An all-time player, he enjoyed a rebound season after leaving the Angels. He'll start in rightfield in Game 1, which will be interesting.

Giants: Pablo Sandoval. The "Kung Fu Panda" saw a major slippage from 2009 to 2010, as he's no longer the team's everyday third baseman. His conditioning is an obvious concern.

Edge: Rangers

Rotation

Rangers: In Cliff Lee, C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis and Tommy Hunter, Texas has a lefty-righty balance that relies largely on pitch variety.

Giants: In Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco has a righty-lefty balance that throws the fastball more often.

Edge: Rangers

Bullpen

Rangers: Ron Washington relies on righty sidewinder Darren O'Day and lefty Darren Oliver to set up for closer Neftali Feliz and aggressively switches pitchers to get the matchups he likes.

Giants: Brian "The Beard" Wilson has shown the ability to throw multiple innings for a save. Right-hander Sergio Romo and left-hander Jeremy Affeldt figure to get the most work.

Edge: Giants

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