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Royals series preview: San Francisco Giants

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It’s a rematch (with no stakes)

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San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

The Kansas City Royals will play host the San Francisco Giants in a rematch of the World Series three years ago. It will be the first time the two teams have met since Alex Gordon was stranded 90 feet from home, representing the tying run in Game Seven with a certain southpaw on the mound. The Giants have gotten off to a slow start in their season, bringing up the rear in the National League West with a 5-9 record.

Series

  • Tuesday, April 18, 7:15 CDT - Matt Cain (RHP) vs. Jason Hammel (RHP)
  • Wednesday, April 19, 7:15 CDT - Madison Bumgarner (LHP) vs. Jason Vargas (LHP)

numberFire (who keeps emailing me with odds for these columns) gives the Royals a 53.5% chance to win game one while putting San Francisco’s win probability in game two at 59.5%.

Giants vs. Royals pitching matchups

Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Matt Cain 2 9.1 9 19.2 6 12.8 4.82 5.69 4.95 4.76 -0.1 0.0
Jason Hammel 2 9.2 6 12.8 6 12.8 6.52 3.53 6.32 5.89 0.2 -0.2
Madison Bumgarner 3 21.0 24 27.9 3 3.5 3.43 2.43 2.93 2.68 0.6 0.4
Jason Vargas 2 13.2 14 28 2 4 0.66 1.29 2.34 2.49 0.6 0.8

Matt Cain was a good pitcher once. That day has long since passed.

Joe Buck’s love interest from the 2014 sports-themed rom-com The 2014 World Series takes the mound for the second game of the series. All indications are that their relationship is doing well.

Giants position players

Player Pos. PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Player Pos. PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Denard Span CF 41 0 4 1 0 .237 .293 .342 .280 79 0.0 0.1
Brandon Belt 1B 60 3 9 7 1 .216 .333 .490 .355 128 0.3 0.5
Hunter Pence RF 60 1 7 7 0 .296 .350 .426 .337 116 0.3 0.5
Buster Posey C 27 1 4 2 0 .333 .481 .571 .454 195 0.5 0.4
Brandon Crawford SS 52 2 9 8 0 .298 .327 .532 .358 131 0.4 0.4
Eduardo Nunez 3B 52 0 5 4 5 .313 .346 .354 .308 97 0.3 -0.2
Chris Marrero LF 28 1 1 4 0 .154 .179 .269 .193 20 -0.2 -0.3
Joe Panik 2B 49 0 7 3 0 .302 .367 .442 .349 125 0.3 0.5
Bench
Nick Hundley C 28 0 4 3 0 .259 .250 .407 .274 75 0.0 0.1
Aaron Hill IF 23 1 2 2 0 .150 .261 .300 .256 63 0.0 -0.3
Conor Gillaspie 3B 17 0 1 2 0 .214 .294 .214 .238 50 -0.1 0.0
Gorkys Hernandez OF 29 0 1 4 0 .074 .138 .111 .121 -27 -0.4 -0.9
Tim Federowicz C 3 0 0 0 0 .000 .333 .000 .228 44 0.0 0.0

Buster Posey looks set to be activated from the 7-day concussion DL after getting hit in the helmet by a pitch. It’s a decent bet that Federowicz is the one whose ticket to Sacramento will be punched. As a team, San Francisco is hitting .237/.300/.384 with a .297 wOBA and 90 wRC+. Their offense isn’t quite struggling to the degree the Royals’ has been, but they’ve been worth just 1.3 fWAR. Getting Posey back should certainly help things, though the bottom of their lineup is nearly as dreadful as the bottom of the Royals’.

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference.

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Poll

Who will win the series?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Royals sweep
    (86 votes)
  • 60%
    1-1 split
    (169 votes)
  • 9%
    Giants sweep
    (26 votes)
281 votes total Vote Now