Kansas City came a long way since finishing last in the Central division and they are now ahead of a major performance. They will play in the World Series against San Francisco and could win the trophy for the second time in the club history, against a seasoned opponent. The Royals are in superb form and has swept opponents in the playoffs, winning overall 12 games in a row, if we include the four games won before the regular season came to an end.
Their most recent victory in the American League final against Baltimore was impressive on many levels and it received ample coverage in the media. One of the articles detailing the events of those game is the one at http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-royals-beat-orioles-halfway-to-baseball-world-series-2014-10.
The first five games of the series against San Francisco have been announced already, with Kansas City relying on James Shields in the opening game, followed by Yordano Ventura. In the third match, Tim Hudson will take them out and the rest of the features are to be decided, but it is certain that Shields will return on the mound for game five. All in all, they have good reasons to be optimistic in the starting pitchers ability to play against the Giants, not to mention that they also have a stellar bullpen.
The last time the two teams met, Kansas City swept the Giants in three games, and outscored them 16 to 6, which bode well ahead of this decisive match. Their opponents are under a lot of pressure to rebound after that humiliating defeat, but San Francisco has plenty of experience. They have a couple of skilled players that can take the amount, with Bumgarner being an excellent choice for the opening game and he will be supported by Hudson and Peavy.
If we are to compare the starting formation with the one that won the World Series, San Francisco is only slightly weaker. The difference will be made on a mental level, with the Giants having the advantage of winning the most important trophy baseball more recently. For Kansas City, it’s been almost 30 years since they last lifted the coveted cup, so pressure is as high as it gets and the Royals are hard pressed to find the resources to outshine San Francisco.
It is of critical importance to win the opening game, because otherwise home pitch advantage will go to waste and winning at AT&T Stadium is quite difficult. If Kansas is to prevail, they need to play offensive baseball and focus on stealing bases, while making the defensive play a clean game. At least on paper, starting pitchers look suitable for the match, but they need to play their a-game to be a real threat for the relentless Giants.