Major League Baseball
Preview
San Francisco at Kansas City
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

The red-hot Kansas City Royals kick off their first appearance in the World Series since 1985 when they host the National League-champion San Francisco Giants in Game 1 on Tuesday. The American League-champion Royals are a perfect 8-0 this postseason, taking the wild-card route to the pennant. San Francisco is in the World Series for the third time in five seasons as it also began this postseason journey as a wild-card entrant.

NL Championship Series MVP Madison Bumgarner will be on the mound for the Giants in the opener despite losing to the Royals during the regular season. James Shields, who pitched a four-hit shutout against San Francisco in August, starts for Kansas City. Both teams feature strong bullpens and have a knack for producing unlikely heroes – such as San Francisco's Travis Ishikawa, who belted a walk-off, three-run homer to end the NLCS matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

TV: 8:07 p.m. ET, FOX

PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants LH Madison Bumgarner (2-1, 1.42 ERA) vs. Royals RH James Shields (1-0, 5.63)

Bumgarner has pitched at least seven innings in each of his four postseason starts and is holding opposing batters to a .170 average. In the regular-season loss to the Royals, he gave up four runs (three earned) and seven hits in eight frames as Kansas City's Billy Butler had a homer and three RBIs. Bumgarner is 2-0 and hasn’t allowed a run in 15 World Series innings, blanking Texas on three hits in eight frames in 2010 and Detroit on two hits over seven innings in 2012.

Shields has struggled in the postseason, giving up 21 hits in 16 innings as opponents have touched him for a .309 average. He was at the top of his game in the regular-season outing against San Francisco, striking out five and walking one while tossing his ninth career shutout. Shields won his lone career World Series start, beating Philadelphia in 2008 as he gave up seven hits in 5 2/3 scoreless frames as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.

WALK-OFFS

1. Kansas City swept a three-game home series against San Francisco in August, stealing seven bases in the finale.

2. Giants RHP Santiago Casilla hasn’t allowed a run in 12 consecutive appearances, while Royals RHP Greg Holland has converted 26 straight save opportunities – including six in the postseason.

3. Kansas City 1B Eric Hosmer is batting .448 in the postseason, while San Francisco 3B Pablo Sandoval is hitting .326.

PREDICTION: Giants 4, Royals 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
San Francisco 96-76 W3 49-37 47-39 25-13 21-17 40-36 10-10
Kansas City 97-73 W9 46-39 51-34 21-17 39-37 22-14 15-5
Last Meeting
San Francisco Kansas City
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/10/14 SF 4 KC 7 .229 0 .582 .312 2 .968
Player Stats
World Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
San Francisco N/A
Kansas City N/A
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
San Francisco E. Adrianza 0 0 0
Kansas City N. Aoki 0 0 0
Pitching ERA Avg K
San Francisco 0.00 .000 0
Kansas City 0.00 .000 0
Playoffs
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
San Francisco J. Arias .500 1 1.000
Kansas City J. Willingham .500 1 1.000
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
San Francisco B. Belt 1 5 6
Kansas City M. Moustakas 4 6 5
Pitching ERA Avg K
San Francisco 2.18 .244 81
Kansas City 2.92 .259 69