After 29 years, the Kansas City Royals will host the opening World Series game tonight at Kaufman Stadium against the San Francisco Giants. The Royals played extremely well this year, becoming the first team in the history of major league baseball to start the postseason with eight straight wins. However, they go up against the Giants who are vying for their third World Series win in just five years.
At the start of the playoffs, no one anticipated a matchup between the Royals and Giants, both wild card teams. However, the Royals and the Giants have proved to be worthy opponents.
Kansas City Royals
In the wild card game against the Oakland Athletics, things did not look good for the Royals. The unusual pitching change ordered by Ned Yost prompted a five-run inning for the A’s. However, showing resiliency, the Royals rallied for a 9-8 win in 12 innings. The Royals went on to play the Angels, sweeping the American League Division Series in just three games.
The Royal’s good streak continued when they played the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series, taking all four games that brought them to tonight’s first World Series game, only the third time in the franchise’s history.
In all, the Royals won 89 games this season, thanks primarily to great defense and runs. Even though they led the American League with 153 stolen bases, the team’s 95 homeruns were the fewest in baseball. However, the Royal’s speed, timely hitting, defense, and strong bullpen will give the Giants a run for their money.
San Francisco Giants
In the meantime, the Giants has achieved a lot of wins, ending a 56-year drought when in 2010 they beat the Texas Rangers, followed by a 2012 sweep against the Detroit Tigers. If the Giants were to take this World Series, the team would join the New York Yankees as the only two clubs in the past four decades to have three championships in five years.
Just like the Kansas City Royals, the Giants started the year with a wild card win. They beat the Washington Nationals in four games, followed by winning against the St. Louis Cardinals in five games. The Giants clinched the sixth National League pennant in last Thursday’s game with Ishikawa hitting a three-run homer at the bottom of the ninth inning.
After going six games without a homerun, Giant’s player Michael Morse belted out the tying home run. According to tonight’s roster, Morse will be in the starting lineup as designated hitter. The biggest advantage for the Giants against the Royals is the starting staff, specifically Bumgarner, named NLCS MVP, who will start Game one of the series.