Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, October 27, 2014 at 8:00 PM
The Kansas City Royals had to feel like they were in great shape after winning Game Three in San Francisco. Their Cinderella story was falling into place chapter and verse, with a 2-1 series lead and two home games in their back pocket if needed. They’re going to need them!
After getting spanked by scores of 11-4 and 5-0 (that’s 16-4 over two games in a hitter’s park!), the Royals now have their backs to the wall with Game Six on tap Tuesday Night. Kansas City must win that one to force a Game Seven that will be played Wednesday in front of a jam-packed stadium dressed in Royal Blue.
Let’s run some numbers to see how things may play out the rest of the way…
OFFENSE SO FAR
San Francisco 27 runs
Kansas City: 15 runs
San Francisco had the more impressive offense through the course of the regular season once you adjusted for league and ballpark. Kansas City had one of the worst offenses in the AL, where designated hitters are used instead of making pitchers bat. San Francisco was one of the better NL offenses despite playing home games in a pitcher’s park…and despite their pitchers being part of the batting order. That dynamic has really manifested itself here. The Royals are averaging only three runs a game. San Francisco has been more explosive in terms of power and stringing together hits for big innings. The offensive edge still goes to the Giants.
Jake Peavy vs. Yordano Ventura
This is a rematch of Game Two, which the Royals won 7-2. Perhaps more importantly, it’s a reminder that Madison Bumgarner won’t be starting any more for the Giants! He’s completely owned the Royals, who have been getting production in the other games. Kansas City is favored Tuesday, and will be favored Wednesday if they can stay alive.
REGULAR SEASON STATS
Jake Peavy: 3.73 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 7.0 K-Rate 6.3 IP-per-Start
Yordano Ventura: 3.20 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 7.8 K-Rate 6.0 IP-per-Start
The difference in leagues becomes a big advantage for the Royals here. Ventura had the superior ERA and K-Rates while throwing in a much tougher pitching environment. That’s why he’s the clear betting favorite in Las Vegas.
Jake Peavy: 3.68 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 3.7 K-Rate 4.9 IP-per-Start
Yordano Ventura: 4.42 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 4.9 K-Rate 6.0 IP-per-Start
Though, what’s happened so far in the postseason may be suggesting some nerves for the younger pitcher. Ventura’s K-Rate has plummeted, and he’s certainly been mortal. The good news for Royals fans is that Peavy is putting guys on base, hardly getting any strikeouts, and isn’t even lasting five innings per start! If each throws to his regular season norms, edge to Ventura. If each throws to his postseason norms, the first few innings could be pretty exciting before the bullpens have to lock down a result.
Las Vegas line: Kansas City -140, total of 7
The opener of KC -135 has been bet up, with many in the public betting the “must-win” team playing at home. And, many sharps had made the game -137 to -138 themselves and bet right off the bat.
JIM HURLEY has been working very closely with his full team of experts to find the right way to play Game Six. Has the value been bet out of the Royals already? Will World Series experience help San Francisco seal the deal Tuesday Night? Is it better to look at the Over given the pitching data we just studied and the run scoring tendencies we’ve seen in games not started by Bumgarner?
Don’t make a move until you hear what JIM HURLEY has to say!
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