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Royals, Giants Commence World Series


The final act of the 2014 Major League Baseball season commences Tuesday night as the Kansas City Royals host the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of the 110th World Series.

First pitch at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. ET.

The best-of-seven series pits two unlikely opponents against each other in what promises to be an intriguing series.

For San Francisco, winners of two of the last four World Series, an appearance in the Fall Classic is hardly unexpected.

Bruce Bochy’s side featured in baseball’s top eight when the season began with 16/1 odds of winning the World Series. The Giants outlasted the Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals – all preferred ahead of the season – to emerge as the National League champion. Can the Giants now leave with another World Series title?

While the Giants have become a familiar component of the Fall Classic, Kansas City’s presence in the final series is a huge surprise.

The Royals entered the season with 33/1 odds of winning a World Series. Those odds sat at 50/1 on June 1 and 40/1 at the All-Star break. Yet an unthinkable second half to the season and an unblemished postseason run has Ned Yost’s side in the World Series for the first time in a quarter of a century.

World Series History

Kansas City is appearing in its first World Series since 1985 and its third Fall Classic overall. The Royals are 1-1 in their previous appearances.

San Francisco is appearing in its third World Series in five years and making a 20th overall appearance in the Fall Classic. Five of those appearances have come since the Giants left New York for the Bay Area in 1958. The Giants are 7-12 in those 19 previous World Series appearances, and are 2-3 since the move west.

The Giants also won two World Championship Series titles – an early precursor to today’s World Series – in 1888 and 1889.

With wins in 2010 and 2012, the Giants will be looking to win a third consecutive World Series appearance, something the club hasn’t done in the modern era. The Giants did win three straight (1888, 1889, 1905) going back to the World Championship Series.

2014 World Series

In this unthinkable of matchups, San Francisco is unsurprisingly the favorite to lift the Commissioner’s Trophy. Only the slimmest of margins separates the two sides though.

Both clubs have played the underdog role throughout this postseason, each earning upset victories in the Wild Card, Divisional and Championship rounds of the postseason.

Kansas City, 8-0 during this postseason run, will relish another chance to upset the applecart, starting with Tuesday night’s series opener in the City of Fountains.

Madison Bumgarner will look to lead the Giants to victory over the Royals on Tuesday.

Madison Bumgarner will look to lead the Giants to victory over the Royals on Tuesday.

Pitching Matchup

As was the case in the Wild Card round and NLCS, San Francisco will send Madison Bumgarner (2-1, 1.42 ERA) to the mound to start Game 1 of the World Series.

Bumgarner has been a solid starter this season but he came up short in his only outing against the Royals, yielding four runs on seven hits through eight innings of play on August 8. That game marked the left-hander’s only career game against the Royals and his only career game at Kauffman Stadium.

  • Bumgarner is 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA in 11 career postseason games (10 starts)
  • During his career, Bumgarner’s club is 8-3 when he takes the mound in the postseason
  • Bumgarner is 2-0 in 2 games (2 starts) when playing in the World Series

Kansas City will turn to James Shields (1-0, 5.63 ERA) to begin the series.

The right-hander has been hit about in his three postseason starts but the Royals have managed to leave with the victory each time the veteran takes the mound. He’ll bring some much-needed World Series experience with him on Tuesday.

  • Shields is 3-5 with a 5.19 ERA in 9 career postseason games (9 starts)
  • During his career, Shields’ club is 5-4 when he takes the mound in the postseason
  • Shields is 1-0 in 1 game (1 start) when playing in the World Series
Can James Shields guide the Royals to a Game 1 victory over the Giants?

Can James Shields guide the Royals to a Game 1 victory over the Giants?

Injury Report

Neither team arrives at the World Series with any significant injury worries.

Betting Report

Below you’ll find significant trends and observations relating to this matchup.

San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals odds for 10/21/2014

San Francisco (-114) opened as the favorite over Kansas City (+104) on the moneyline. The gap between the two sides has shrunk on all sportsbooks though.

At the time of writing, BetOnline had the Giants at -108 and the Royals at -102.

In a rare head-to-head meeting, Kansas City swept a three-game series between the clubs at Kauffman Stadium in August. The Royals have now beaten the Giants in five straight dating back to 2008.

Kansas City is 8-2 in its last 10 games with San Francisco.

The total opened at 6.5.

The total has gone over in four of San Francisco’s last five games, but under in four of Kansas City’s last six games at home.

The total went under in two of the three matchups between the two clubs during the regular season, including the games that saw Bumgarner and Shields start.

The under has paid out in three of the last five head-to-head meetings.

Bet on the 2014 World Series

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