2014 World Series preview: San Francisco Giants

They must be Giants

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The San Francisco Giants clinched their third postseason berth in the last three years, as they finished the season 88-74. They defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-0 in the one-game wild card round Oct. 1. San Francisco beat the Washington Nationals in four games in the NLDS and the St. Louis Cardinals in five games in the NLCS on their way to the Fall Classic.

Even though the team missed the playoffs in 2011 (86-76) and 2013 (76-86), they won the World Series in 2010 (92-70) and 2012 (94-68) and are due to win another title. Their abundance of October experience is shown through eight active players who have at least two World Series rings, and a playoff squad that has 27 rings combined. The National League bay team has accumulated the most hits (88) of any playoff team this October, in addition to owning a 2.18 postseason ERA and holding opposing batters to just a .192 batting average.

The Giants have had some incredible individual performances this postseason. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval has been a strong contributor with his .396 OBP. Catcher Buster Posey and right fielder Hunter Pence have each recorded at least one hit in eight of ten postseason games. Ace Madison Bumgarner has further solidified his October dominance, as he has gone 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA in four starts. The second man in the pitching rotation, Jake Peavy, has picked up a win to go along with his 1.86 ERA. The bullpen has given up just seven earned runs through over 35 innings of work, and four of the seven relief pitchers have not yielded a single earned run.

In the regular season, the Giants accumulated more runs (665 to 651), home runs (132 to 95), triples (42 to 29) and total bases (2144 to 2085) than the Royals. They were also more dangerous from the mound, as they outdid Kansas City in strikeouts (1211 to 1168), ERA (3.50 to 3.51) and opponents’ batting average (.241 to .250). San Francisco has won with playoff experience, whereas the Royals have extended their season deep into October with speed and small-ball.

Going 8-2 in October to reach the World Series, the San Francisco Giants will have the upper hand over the Kansas City Royals. One of the most dominant and experienced pitching staffs in the National League will shut down the streaking Royals’ lineup. The Giants’ offense will overpower Kansas City’s less experienced pitching rotation. Bumgarner will win two games in the series, and the Giants will clinch their eighth franchise title in game five at home.

Giants NCLS Roster