The San Francisco Giants are facing the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 World Series, which starts on Thursday. This fall classic is the first time that two wildcard teams have played since the 2002 one — which was played by the Angels and the Giants. San Francisco is looking for their third World Series title in five years, and the Royals could end up winning the franchise’s second title.
San Francisco advanced to the World Series after a dramatic game five, that saw first basemen Travis Ishikawa hit a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth. Ishikawa almost gave up baseball before the season started but gave it one more shot, and he is now one of San Francisco’s biggest heroes. The story hasn’t gotten a lot of play heading into the beginning of the series, and it will get plenty more before the series is finished.
The Giants have a great chance at winning another World Series title this season.
3) San Francisco is the better team, when healthy.
The Royals are the story line in these playoffs, and rightfully so; they are a suffering franchise with a suffering fan base; and the team was built for the post season (pitching, and defense). But the Giants are a more complete team, and that is going to be one of the biggest factors in this series.
When healthy, the Giants were an unstoppable force during the regular season; and they’ve been healthy throughout the post season. That’s going to be the biggest factor in San Francisco’s favor during the World Series.
2) The Giants are better at scoring runs than the Royals
San Francisco produced the sixth best offense in the MLB during the regular season, according to FanGraphs, and that has continued into the post season. The Giants wRC+ (weighted runs created, 100 is league average) is 101, seven points higher than the Royals — KC’s wRC+ is 94. Another reason the Giants offense is better, is that they’ve walked more and hit for more power than the Royals throughout the season.
1) Bruce Bochy is not Ned Yost
Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost came under fire for his managerial decisions during the Wildcard game against the Oakland Atheltics. Yost made a controversially decision to pull starting pitcher James Shields, and then excessively used the sacrifice bunt to generate runs. The use of the bunt more often than not crippled the team’s ability to score in bunches. Fortunately for Yost, and the Royals, the offense has taken the decision making process out of their manager’s hand.
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy use the sacrifice bunt too much? Yes, but he doesn’t use it nearly as much as Yost does and therefore doesn’t kill as many rallies. Bochy is a way better manager than Yost is, and that will impact a seven game series.