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Prospy Picks: 2014 World Series

    By: Jason Green

    It would be very easy to pick the Kansas City Royals to win the World Series over the San Francisco Giants. The Royals have swept through the playoffs so far without a loss. They have won every playoff game so far. Why would I not pick them to win it all?

    Statistics—that’s why. Instead of picking from my heart like most people are going to do, I am going to pick with my head. As someone who was 5 years old the last time that the Royals won a World Series and actually had a really cool powder blue pennant on my wall to commemorate it, I would love to see Kansas City do it again. But, it’s not going to happen, I’m sorry to say.

    Here is your first statistic; four of Kansas City’s eight playoff wins have been by one run. They have been very lucky so far. Despite what you may hear about the depth of their bullpen and how they shut every one down, their pitching really has not been that good all the way around. James Shields, who should start game one for the Royals, has a 5.63 earned run average so far in his three-playoff starts. Madison Bumgarner, who will likely start three games of the potential seven World Series games for the Giants, has a 1.42 ERA in four postseason games. For the Royals to get to their outstanding bullpen, they would need to not lose the game prior to the seventh inning.

    The second reason the Giants will win is the power outage—the Royals’ power outage that is. Mike Moustakas of the Royals has hit four home runs in the postseason. During the regular season he hit 15 home runs total. The Royals, as a team, have eight home runs so far in the playoffs. This is the same Royals team that was dead last in all of baseball in home runs with only 95 for the season. The Royals power outage is
    about to begin.

    The third reason is not so much a statistic as it is just a historical fact. The 2007 Rockies went 7-0 through the first two rounds of the playoffs to make it to the World Series. They were a wild card team just like the Royals. After a relatively easy trip through the playoffs, the Rockies had a slightly longer layoff before the World Series than the Red Sox did. The Rockies cooled off dramatically and were swept by the Red Sox. The Giants will win behind the outstanding pitching of Bumgarner and the unorthodox timely hitting of outfielder Hunter Pence. Unlike the 2007 Rockies, however, I don’t believe that the Royals will get swept. The Royals will win one on the road, maybe one at home and bring the series back to Kansas City before losing to Bumgarner one more time.

    San Francisco, 4-2.

    Jason Green may be reached at [email protected].

    By: Javier Cortez

    If you told me at the start of the MLB postseason that the Giants and Royals would be in the Fall Classic, I would have been very disappointed. But watching this 2014 baseball postseason, I cannot be more excited for
    the matchup.

    What’s great about this matchup is that there is no underdog. Yes, in a conventional sense the Royals are underdogs because this is the first time they have been in the postseason since 1985, and the Giants are playing for their third world championship in five years.

    But if you have been watching, then you know that none of that really matters. What you have is two teams playing great baseball when it’s precisely needed. This series should be nothing less than a classic. With that being said, I’m taking the Giants. Don’t get me wrong, the Royals look unbeatable this postseason—their bullpen is tremendous, great base running, and when momentum shifts their way, the game is
    basically over.

    The Royals are majoring in winning low-scoring, defensive-minded games, but the Giants have been mastering this since 2010. More importantly, the Giants have done it against
    better competition.

    They trounced a Pittsburgh team 8-0 that came into the postseason with a 16-6 record over the last 22 games. Then they defeated a Washington team that had the best record in the National League with relative ease. And to top things off, they put the St. Louis Cardinals down in five games, who have probably been the most consistent team in baseball over the past five years.

    In the Royals’ last series, Orioles manager Buck Showalter showed that the Royals’ base-running attack could be neutralized with some simple infield shifts and constant communication. I expect Giants manager Bruce Bochy to do the same whenever Jarrod Dyson, Alcides Escobar or Lorenzo Cain steps
    off the bag.

    The only problem the Giants can run into in this series is playing behind when the game comes down to the last three innings. As long as the Giants go into the last third of each game with a lead, they should be fine.

    If the Royals can give a lead over to the three-headed monster that is Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland, then they can win a few games. But a series? I don’t think so. The Giants have guys across the board who can take over games and series. Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence have the capabilities to bring home another pennant for the Giants, but more importantly, they have the hardware to show for it.

    This series should be good if not great. With sports in general, you can never truly predict what is going to happen or how it’s going to happen. There have been plenty of matchups like this that have been absolute duds or unforgettable classics. Nevertheless, the Giants will win their third pennant in five years.

    San Francisco, 4-2.

    Javier Cortez may be reached at [email protected].

    By: Luis Gonzalez

    I can’t pick against the Kansas City Royals in the World Series, no way. Their winning, its destiny. This is a franchise that has not been to the post season in almost 30 years, they don’t have a legitimate ace on the roster, no superstar on the field, and are  managed by probably the least respected manager in all of baseball. Add to all of this the fact that the Royals are playing against the best team over the last 10 years.

    That doesn’t matter though, Kansas City is winning, it’s just meant to be.

    Now, it’s not all about destiny with the still undefeated in the playoffs Kansas City Royals. They do have the best bullpen in all of baseball, which has played lights out throughout the eight games in October. Defense has been great too, providing spectacular highlight plays almost on a nightly basis. It’s a scrappy team that gets runs in many different ways. They get on base, steal their way to home, and have even hit for power, something they didn’t do much of throughout the regular season.

    Sure they might stop swinging the bat, but what if they don’t? What if this unexplainable postseason surge lasts a couple more weeks?

    The lack of an elite ace is a problem and provides the key to the matchup. Kansas City must get quality starts from its pitching staff, keeping them in the game through at least the first six innings. It will definitely be easier said than done, with guys like the aforementioned Posey at the plate, but they’ve
    done it already.

    They managed to get past dangerous lineups like the Angles with hitters like Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and David Freese. They’ve also overcome teams with important pitching staff. They survived Oakland’s John Lester and got past the Angels’ Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, this will definitely be the hardest test yet for the Royals, but they have proven to be as scrappy a team as there is and great at finding ways to win. But I believe they will get good enough starts on the mound, and aided by at least six golden-glove quality defenders, most of the games in the series will be up for grabs come the final innings, where the bullpen will keep rolling.

    I really just hope it is as great of a series as the statistics coming into it say it should be. Both parks will be rocking and both fan bases, at the stadium and at home, enjoying the suffering that comes with your team playing for such high stakes. That’s the great thing about not having any rooting interest; one can just relax, sit back and enjoy the ride.

    I think the Royal’s magical October run continues.

    Kansas City, 4-2.

    Luis Gonzalez may be reached at [email protected].

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    About the Contributors
    Javier Cortez, Staff Reporter
    Javier Cortez is a staff reporter for The Prospector. He is a senior multimedia journalism major, with a minor in English Rhetoric. Javier was born and raised in El Paso, TX and before coming to UTEP in the summer of 2012, he graduated from Irvin High School, where he was a four-year varsity tennis player, a member of student council and a class officer for his graduating class. He has also worked for the El Paso Diablos as a sports information intern on their media relations team. In his spare time, Javier loves to write columns for the perspectives section in the school newspaper—whether it is sports, pop culture, religion, and society he loves to write about it. To go along with writing, Javier loves reading anything about sports, religion, and non-fiction.
    Jason Green, Contributor
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