The Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants will face off in the 110th World Series. The Giants have a chance to establish themselves as a dynasty by winning their third championship in the last five years. This is the Royals first World Series appearance since the 1985 season where they beat St. Louis in seven games. Neither team were particular favorites to make it this far, but they’ve both proven their tenacity and now have a chance to make this a historic series.
The Royals are unbeaten in the postseason, but it hasn’t been easy. Half of those wins came in extra innings while the Giants have been able to put some cushion on their wins. Nevertheless, the Royals will win this series based on their pitching, solid fielding, and clutch hitting to go along with their small-ball batting.
The Giants have the better starting lineup with the likes of Bumgarner, Peavy, and Hudson leading that rotation. However, what will ultimately separate the two ballclubs is the bullpen. The Royals have the likes of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland on their side. This trio has been dominant in the postseason, retiring 44 of 54 batters and striking out 15. The Giants’ bullpen can’t be overlooked with guys like Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez only allowing three hits and one run between them. But, the Giants lack a serious power pitcher in their bullpen while the Royals have guys who can throw heat like Herrera, Davis, and Holland. This gives the Royals the edge in the bullpen.
The World Series is the perfect stage for defensive wizards to shine and no other team in baseball is more competent on the field than the Royals. At times, it seems outfielder Lorenzo Cain is able to cover all three spots. Luckily, he has Alex Gordan and Nori Aoki to back him up. The infielders field the ball well too, with Mike Moustakas garnering attention for two spectacular plays in the ALCS.
By now, it’s no secret the Royals are a speedy team who’ve mastered the old-school smallball method of playing baseball. The Giants are an experienced team and will be ready for it. But, the Royals have shown more pop in their bats since the postseason started. They’re averaging at least one homerun per game. This is impressive considering the Royals finished last in homeruns during the regular season and are not known for their batting skills at all. However, the Royals still manage to score runs despite their shortcomings and it’s hard to imagine the Royals getting cold feet at this point of the postseason. If their bats go cold during this series it will be due to the Giants stellar pitching, not nerves.
Outcome: Royals in six