When Tim Lincecum throws the first pitch Wednesday night to Elvis Andrus, the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants will start up an age-old debate: Does pitching or hitting win the World Series?

Texas proved that it has baseball’s most potent offense with seven of its players having an OPS above .600 in the playoffs.

San Francisco, on the other hand, proved to have the best four-man rotation in the post-season with an excellent 2.08 ERA.

Something has to give, and I believe it’s going to be San Francisco’s pitching.

The Giants’ starting rotation of Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner proved to be fearless, jamming hitters at will, and throwing unhittable off-speed pitches while behind or ahead in the count.

The staff, however, defeated the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies—teams that do not run nearly as aggressively as the Rangers.

The Giants’ rotation had the luxury of throwing sliders and changeups in the dirt because of rookie sensation Buster Posey’s catching skills and their opponents’ lack of speed.

Texas’ Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton led the postseason with seven and four steals, respectively. Their most notable steals came during the double steal they pulled off against the New York Yankees in the ALCS.

The Rangers also aggressively tag up on pop flies to try to make each out as productive as possible, as shown by Nelson Cruz’s play in Game 5 of the ALCS.

Texas’ theory on aggressive baserunning is that pitchers are forced to throw fastballs, and it puts immense pressure on an opponent’s defense. The Giants’ starter’s success came from their off-speed pitches being extremely efficient, which will not be the case during the World Series.

The Rangers might be the best fastball-hitting squad in baseball, and will force the mediocre Giants’ defense to bail out the pitchers.

Also, the Giants’ defensive weakness resides on the left side of the diamond, which has Juan Uribe, a strong thrower but a slow-footed shortstop, and Pat Burrell, who might be the worst defensive left fielder in the game.

The top two-thirds of the Rangers’ lineup is all right-handed batters except Josh Hamilton, who batted .359 in the regular season and showed he can spray the ball everywhere. 

Everything seems to favor Texas which will likely lead to the Rangers completing its Cinderella run by winning the franchise’s first championship in five games. Cliff Lee will also improve to 5-0 this postseason and become the 2010 World Series MVP. 

As for the age-old debate, my vote is hitting wins championships. The Rangers have sold me on its offensive firepower, and the Giants’ pitching stats are misleading since they haven’t faced an offense remotely similar to the Rangers’.

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