World Series Five-Point Preview

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The World Series pits two wild card winners against each other this year and this is a very intriguing matchup. The Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants are far different teams, however. On one side you have the Kansas City Royals who haven’t been to the playoffs in 29 years and they somehow have not lost a single game. Going 8-0 thus far, some have called it “Royals Magic” and honestly that’s the only plausible name I could give this magical run. But what happens if their “magic” runs out? Then you have the Giants, who are looking to cement their names as a dynasty. With a World Series victory, the Giants would be champions three times in the past five years. These Giants have been lead by heroics and great starting pitching. I mean, who honestly thought Travis Ishikawa, who started first base for the Pirates to start the season, would hit the NLCS clinching homer to propel the Giants back to the Fall Classic? I know I didn’t think it – not for one bit. But what if the Giants pitching, lead by one of the best pitchers in baseball in Madison Bumgarner, suddenly regresses a little bit and it puts the Royals in good position to win games? This should be a fun World Series to watch and I expect it to be competitive.

Managers: San Francisco Giants Manager Bruce Bochy has a career .502 winning percentage as a manager and a career .585 postseason winning percentage along with 3 pennants and 2 World Series titles, all coming in San Francisco. Bochy also had a 12 year run in San Diego but posted a winning percentage of just .494.

Ned Yost, the Kansas City Royals skipper has a career winning percentage of .479 in 11 years, six with the Brewers and five with the Royals. Yost had gotten the Royals to just 72 wins or fewer in his first three years as Manager, but the past two season the Royals have seen 86 wins or more and now find themselves in the World Series. This decision, however, is an easy one and I give the Giants the edge.

Starting Lineups:

Kansas City-

SS Alcides Escobar .285 avg 3 HR 50 RBI
RF Nori Aoki .285 avg 1 HR 43 RBI
CF Lorenzo Cain .301 avg 5 HR 53 RBI
1B Eric Hosmer .270 avg 9 HR 58 RBI
DH Billy Butler .271 avg 9 HR 66 RBI
LF Alex Gordon .266 avg 19 HR 74 RBI
C Salvador Perez .260 avg 17 HR 70 RBI
2B Omar Infante .252 avg 6 HR 66 RBI
3B Mike Moustakas .212 avg 15 HR 54 RBI

San Francisco-

CF Gregor Blanco .260 avg 5 HR 38 RBI
2B Joe Panik .305 avg 1 HR 18 RBI
C Buster Posey .311 avg 22 HR 89 RBI
3B Pablo Sandoval .279 avg 16 HR 73 RBI
RF Hunter Pence .277 avg 20 HR 74 RBI
1B Brandon Belt .243 avg 12 HR 27 RBI
DH Michael Morse .279 avg 16 HR 61 RBI
LF Travis Ishikawa .274 avg 2 HR 15 RBI
SS Brandon Crawford .246 avg 10 HR 69 RBI

Those are regular season numbers for each team’s lineup. However, the Royals have been a much more potent and high-powered offense in the postseason. This tilt goes to Kansas City.

Starting Pitching:

Kansas City-

James Shields 14-8 3.21 ERA
Yordano Ventura 14-10 3.20 ERA
Jason Vargas 11-10 3.71 ERA
Jeremy Guthrie 13-11 4.13 ERA

San Francisco-

Madison Bumgarner 18-10 2.98 ERA
Jake Peavy 6-4 2.17 ERA
Tim Hudson 9-13 3.57 ERA
Ryan Vogelsong 8-13 4.00 ERA

My edge here goes to the Giants. The Giants have more experience in the postseason and are deeper in my opinion. With that being said, they haven’t faced an offense like the Royals so we’ll see what prevails: Offense or Starting Pitching.

Bullpens:

Kansas City-

Greg Holland 1-3 1.44 ERA
Wade Davis 9-2 1.00 ERA
Kelvin Herrera 4-3 1.41 ERA
Jason Frasor 4-1 2.66 ERA
Brandon Finnegan 0-1 1.29 ERA
Tim Collins 0-3 3.86 ERA
Danny Duffy 9-12 2.53 ERA

San Francisco-

Santiago Casilla 3-3 1.70 ERA
Sergio Romo 6-4 3.72 ERA
Jeremy Affeldt 4-2 2.28 ERA
Jean Machi 7-1 2.58 ERA
Javier Lopez 1-1 3.11 ERA
Yusmiero Petit 5-5 3.69 ERA
Hunter Strickland 1-0 0.00 ERA
Tim Lincecum 12-9 4.74 ERA

The edge here goes to the Kansas City Royals and this one is a no-brainer. You have to feel a lot better about the Royals chances of holding a lead than the Giants because their bullpen is a lot more vulnerable than the Royals’ bullpen. The Royals bullpen has been lights out in innings seven, eight, and nine in the postseason. The Giants bullpen hasn’t been bad, but they have cost them some games and have given up some long balls to opposing teams.

Benches:

Kansas City-

C Erik Kratz .218 avg 2 HR 3
IF Christian Colon .333 avg 0 HR 6 RBI
OF Josh Willingham .215 avg 14 HR 40 RBI
OF Jarrod Dyson .269 avg 1 HR 24 RBI
OF Terrance Gore .000 avg 0 HR 0 RBI

San Francisco-

C Andrew Susac .273 avg 3 HR 19 RBI
IF Joaquin Arias .254 avg 0 HR 15 RBI
IF Matt Duffy .267 avg 0 HR 8 RBI
OF Juan Perez .170 avg 1 HR 3 RBI

The Giants have an inferior bench compared to the Royals in my opinion. But keep in mind that Terrance Gore and Jarrod Dyson are mostly used for their base stealing ability with their speed. However, Jarrod Dyson still hit well as a bench player this year. The Giants bench has a little more consistency to them in terms of batting average, but Kansas City’s bench provides a bigger spark for their team.

I will not make an official prediction on this game until sometime Tuesday before game time on my official Twitter account, @OBTBrett. I have given this a lot of thought and my gut says Giants because they’ve been here before. We’ve all seen the dominance that has been Madison Bumgarner this postseason and he’s done it in the World Series before. The Royals were criticized for trading top prospect Wil Meyers away for James Shields, but Ned Yost has pointed to that trade as a reason why the Royals are back in the World Series. The Royals have a much different narrative than the Giants. The Royals are the team that has faced adversity in games, looked it in the face and didn’t just survive, they thrived in the postseason. The Royals didn’t go the distance and just win enough games to get by, but they haven’t lost a single game all postseason. They won’t sweep the Giants, and I expect this to go at least 6 games. My heart says Royals because it’s a great story for baseball and I personally don’t care for seeing the same team win over and over. With all this being said, this should be quite an intriguing Fall Classic for those who enjoy great defense and starting pitching in baseball.

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