The San Francisco Giants return to Kansas City for the first time since the 2014 World Series. The Royals have a world series of their own this time. After both teams fell short in 2016, the 2017 season brings championship or bust expectations.
The San Francisco Giants are off to a slow start in 2017. That’s ok. But earlier in the season, Madison Bumgarner made a statement saying, “We’re the San Francisco Giants, that’s all the optimism we need.” Surely, the Giants will find their form. And in no better place than where they last raised a trophy from.
This series will have all sorts of fun storylines. You have Johnny Cueto, the ace of the 2015 Royals’ World Series Rotation. You also have the return of Madison Bumgarner to the scene of that amazing world series run. Then throw in the Yordano Ventura memories of the 2014 world series, there is everything here.
As I said previously, this is the best time to get right for the Giants, and the best place. This series will only be a two game set here in Kansas City. The match-ups look like this:
- Tuesday 4/18: Matt Cain vs. Jason Hammel; 5:15 PT
- Wednesday 4/19: Madison Bumgarner vs. Jason Vargas; 5:15 PT
This 2017 Royals team is going to look a lot different than what you saw in 2014, and even in the 2015 world series. They are a little slower, and a lot more power dependent. They have a few guys with 5+ home-runs already. However they are still as free swinging a team as they were back then. They’ll be aggressive and play above average defense.
Where are they vulnerable? Well, in the realm of pitching. They have had a lot of walk issues so far this season, especially in the bullpen. If the Giants can really be patient and work the count, they should do very well this series. Getting into the bullpen quickly is what they should aim for.
If the Giants are going to win this series, the starters will simply have to keep their mistakes out of “hitting range.” It could be an issue early for Matt Cain if he doesn’t have his fastball command. He’ll need keep from elevating his pitches if he’s actually going to do damage tonight. With Bumgarner on the hill tomorrow, the same thing goes. Especially with a team this aggressive, and loaded with as much power, they need to keep their mistakes out of the zone.
Check out our Podcast we did with Kings of Kauffman, the Royals based site here on FanSided!