The Kansas City Royals are facing off against the San Francisco Giants in the 2014 World Series. Who would have thought that, at the beginning of the year, these two teams would be here. Who would have thought that, at the beginning of this postseason, that these two teams would be here.
Well, they are. And both of of them are taking an incredible ride right into baseball's biggest stage. The Royals have knocked off the Athletics, Angels (who boasted the best record), and Orioles on the way to their eight game playoff winning streak. You read that right. The Royals have yet to lose this postseason.
The Giants' run has been just as good. They had to knock off the Pirates, Nationals, and Cardinals to get here, and while their run hasn't been as flawless as the Royals, they have a pretty formidable 8-2 thus far in the 2014 postseason and now are going to their third Fall Classic in five seasons.
The slates are wiped clean. Now, the first team to win four games will be our champion of baseball. Will it be the red-hot Royals? Or, will it be the World Series regulars Giants?
It's hard to pick against Kansas City right now.
The Royals are having a historic postseason. First, they haven't been in the postseason in 1985, when they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. But they are playing so well that I am going to pick them to defeat the Giants in six games.
Kansas City's pitching has been good all season, but they have been very solid this postseason. While James Shields hasn't been exactly a stud, the rest of their staff -- Jeremy Guthrie, Jason Vargas, and Yordano Ventura -- has been very clutch. Their bullpen allowed just two runs over 16 innings during the ALCS. The Royals pitching has carried them and they are playing as well as anyone.
The make-or-break factor for the Royals is if their offense can live up to the challenge. Everyone has stepped up this postseason. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorezno Cain, Nori Aoki, Jarrod Dyson, Billy Butler, and almost everyone on this offense has made a contribution to the Royals success.
However, the Giants' experience on the big stage might be too much for the Royals to handle. Their veteran pitching staff includes the likes of Tim Hudson, Jake Peavy, Madison Bumgarner, and Ryan Vogelsong, some of the toughest pitching that the Royals will have to face. Peavy is a former World Series Champion and so is Vogelsong and Bumgarner. They know what it's like to be in the Fall Classic.
The Giants offense is great, too. Buster Posey leads a Giants offense that is so clutch, something that is extremely hard to measure. For instance, Travis Ishikawa (!!!) hit a walk-off home run to clinch the Giants' NL pennant. Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval also just turn their games to another level when the calendar flips to October. The Giants' experience could be enough in itself to win the series.
With all that said, I'm just going to enjoy watching this series. I love the heart and hustle that both of these teams supply and know that this is going to be a very fun World Series. Good luck to both the Giants and Royals as they look to write themselves into baseball history.