World Series Game 7 Preview

Kauffman_Stadium_at_night,_2009Continuing one of the strangest World Series of the past decade, Kansas City’s offensive outpouring yesterday has brought us to a Game 7.

The last World Series game 7 was in 2011, a largely forgettable game in which the Cardinals won 6-2.  However, that series was a more exciting and much closer series than this current one.  All but one of the games so far have been decided by five runs or more, with yesterday’s score finishing at 10-0.

However, the last two games, while important, have been overshadowed by the death of 22 year old prospect Oscar Taveras.

In game 5, Juan Perez, a light hitting defensive player for the Giants, after learning of Taveras’ death, was put into the game, and hit a double to put the game away and give the Giants a 3-2 series lead.

In yesterday’s game 6, Yordano Ventura, the Royals pitcher, emblazoned RIP OT 18 on his cap, glove, and cleats, and dedicated his start to Taveras. They both grew up in small towns in the Dominican Republic a short distance from each other.  Ventura pitched seven scoreless innings and earned the win.

Tonight’s game 7 features Tim Hudson, Giants’ 39 year old playing in his first World Series, against Jeremy Guthrie of the Royals.  Guthrie and Hudson faced off in game 3, the only close game of the series so far, where the Royals won 3-2.

The statistics do not favor the Giants in this game.  No road team has won a World Series Game 7 in the past 35 years: road teams are 0-9 in that stretch.  However, Tim Hudson has plenty of postseason experience, albeit mostly in the early rounds, and has a 3.53 ERA in that time period.  Meanwhile, Jeremy Guthrie’s 2.70 ERA in his first postseason of his career has earned him the start tonight.

So far, the Giants have a slight advantage in run differential, leading 27-25 this World Series.  However, run differential has not historically been a good indicator in the World Series, with several teams winning with a negative run differential.

Since 2010, the Giants have won two World Series, while the Royals haven’t won since 1985.  The Giants have plenty of experience in elimination games, down 2-0 (5 game series) to the Reds in the 2012 NLDS, and 3-1 (7 game series) in the NLCS against the Cardinals.

Experience points to the Giants, but the Royals have home field advantage.

Let’s hope for an exciting game.

First pitch tonight at 5:07 PM.