Monday, October 20, 2014

WORLD SERIES PREVIEW: SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS. KANSAS CITY ROYALS

By: Connor Glowacki

Figure 1: Giants Catcher
Buster Posey
photo courtesy of mlbtraderumors.com
     There were probably not many people at the beginning of the Major League Baseball season that predicted a World Series matchup between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals. Sure, the Giants have won the World Series in two of the last four seasons (2010 and 2012), but this was the Royals first playoff berth since 1985, when they in fact won the World Series.
Figure 2: Royals Center Fielder
Lorenzo Cain
photo courtesy of wikipedia
     Kansas City has gone a perfect 8-0 so far this postseason and a lot of their success has to be credited to their stellar pitching staff, featuring just three pitchers with an earned run average (ERA) over three.
     Kansas City plays great defense in the outfield and their offense has suddenly been driving pitches deep into the outfield for a combined eight home runs in the eight postseason games. Third baseman Mike Moustakas had 15 home runs in the entire regular season and he already has four home runs this postseason. First baseman Eric Hosmer and center fielder Lorenzo Cain have also been impressive, with batting averages of .448 and .353 respectively.
     Meanwhile, San Francisco has been the pillar of postseason success in baseball for the last five or six years. The Giants have two starting pitchers that have been dominant this postseason as Madison Bumgarner (2-1, 1.42 ERA, 28 Strikeouts) and Jake Peavy (1-0, 1.86 ERA) have helped anchor the team's pitching staff.
     On offense, San Francisco is another team that plays a small-ball hitting style. Look out for veterans, such as catcher Buster Posey (.302 BA) and third baseman Pablo Sandoval (.326 BA) to lead the charge and attack the Royals' pitchers.

PROJECTED PITCHING MATCHUPS

Game 1: SF (Bumgarner) vs. KC (James Shields)

Game 2: SF (Peavy) vs. KC (Yordano Ventura)

Game 3: KC (TBA) vs. SF (Tim Hudson)

Game 4: KC (TBA) vs. SF (Ryan Vogelsong)


                                      PROJECTED BATTING LINEUPS

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS                                            KANSAS CITY ROYALS

1.) CF Gregor Blanco                                                          1.) SS Alcides Escobar
2.) 2B Joe Panik                                                                   2.) RF Norichika Aoki
3.) C Buster Posey                                                               3.) CF Lorenzo Cain
4.) 3B Pablo Sandoval                                                         4.) 1B Eric Hosmer
5.) RF Hunter Pence                                                            5.) LF Alex Gordon
6.) 1B Brandon Belt                                                             6.) C Salvador Perez
7.) LF Travis Ishikawa                                                         7.) 2B Omar Infante
8.) SS Brandon Crawford                                                    8.) 3B Mike Moustakas
9.) San Francisco Pitcher/DH                                              9.) Kansas City Pitcher/DH

Who will win the 2014 World Series? Leave a comment below or tweet me your comment on Twitter @ConnorGlowacki.

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