By Ian Palmer
The 2014 World Series gets underway in Kansas City on Tuesday, October 21 as the National League pennant winners the San Francisco Giants take on the top team in the American League, the Kansas City Royals. This is the Giants third trip to the World Series in the last five years as they also made it to the Fall Classic in 2010 and 2012 and winning it both times. The last time the Royals made the World Series and the playoffs was back in 1985 when they were crowned world champions.
The Royals are 8-0 in the postseason in 2014 after winning their wildcard game against the Oakland Athletics and then sweeping the West Division champion Los Angeles Angels in three games and the East Division kings the Baltimore Orioles in seven. The Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in their wildcard showdown and then dismantled the East Division champion Washington Nationals in four games and the Central Division champion St. Louis Cardinals in five.
World Series Schedule: San Francisco Giants vs Kansas City Royals
- Game 1 – Tuesday, October 21 in Kansas City
- Game 2 – Wednesday, October 22 in Kansas City
- Game 3 – Friday, October 24 in San Francisco
- Game 4 – Saturday, October 25 in San Francisco
- Game 5 – Sunday, October 26 in San Francisco
- Game 6 – Tuesday, October 28 in Kansas City
- Game 7 – Wednesday, October 29 in Kansas City
2014 World Series Preview from Bovada – Game One
Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy will be going with Madison Bumgarner in the opening game as he will have had four days rest between games. The left-handed pitcher is 2-1 in the playoffs this season with an impressive ERA of 1.42. He has also struck out 28 hitters and has a WHIP of 0.76. Overall, San Francisco has gone 8-2 in his last 10 starts. Bumgarner pitched eight innings in the fifth game against the Cardinals and gave up three earned runs in San Francisco’s 6-3 series clincher. His fine performance in the NLSC earned him the MVP award for the series. He owned the Cardinal batters in the first game when the threw just over seven scoreless innings.
The Giants’ bullpen has also been doing an excellent job in the postseason, especially Yusmeiro Petit. The reliever has pitched nine innings in the playoffs and hasn’t given up a run up to now. Closer Santiago Casilla is also on a hot streak as he’s pitched six and 2/3 innings and has given up just a pair of hits and no runs. Offensively, Pablo Sandoval is leading the way for the Giants as he’s gone 14-for-43 for a .326 average since Wildcard Game. He went .400 by going 8-for-20 in the League Championship Series. Travis Ishikawa is also hot as he drove in seven runs during the LCS and had a .385 batting average by going 5-for-13. He also chipped in with a home run and a pair of doubles.
The Royals should be well rested heading into game one and will be starting ace pitcher James Shields in the opener of the World Series. However, Shields’ numbers haven’t been too impressive so far in the postseason. He’s started three games, but won just one of them and his ERA stands at 5.63. But he seems to like pitching against the Giants since he pitched a complete game shutout against them in August. He struck out five and allowed just four hits in the Royals’ 5-0 win. Also, the Giants roster has a combined career batting average of just .208 against Shields.
If Shields does happen to falter the Royals also have an excellent bullpen to rely on. The trio of Greg Holland, Wade Davis, and Kelvin Herrera were all excellent during the regular season with ERA’s under 1.50. Davis led them with an ERA of 1.00 while Herrera owned a 1.41 ERA and Holland’s was 1.44. Combined, the threesome’s ERA was just 1.04 and Davis has two wins to his name during this year’s playoffs.
When it comes to hitting, The Royals have shown some power and have been led by Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. The Royals had just 95 home runs during the regular season, which was the lowest total in Major League Baseball. Every other club hit at least 100 homers. So far during the postseason the Royals have belted eight balls out of the park with Hosmer and Moustakas being responsible for six of them. They’re also getting a lot of help from Lorenzo Cain, who’s batting .353 in the playoffs along with Alcides Escobar at .278) and Norichika Aoki at .259.
The Royals were 89-73 during the regular season and finished second in the Central Division. They’re 8-0 in the playoffs. The Giants went 88-74 in the NL West during the regular season for second place and are 8-2 in the playoffs. The Royals and Giants met five times during the regular season with the Royals winning the series 3-2.
San Francisco Giants Regular Season Team Leaders
- Home Runs: Buster Posey – 22
- RBIs: Buster Posey – 89
- Hits: Hunter Pence – 180
- Batting Average (over 500 at bats): Buster Posey – .311
- Pitching wins: Madison Bumgarner – 18-10 (2.98)
- ERA (over 70 innings): Jake Peavy 2.17 (6-4)
Kansas City Royals Regular Season Team Leaders
- Home Runs: Alex Gordon-19
- RBIs: Alex Gordon -74
- Hits: Alcides Escobar-165
- Batting Average (over 450 at bats): Lorenzo Cain .301
- Pitching wins: James Shields 14-8
- ERA (over 74 innings): Wade Davis 1.00 (9-2)