The American League participant in the World Series has been determined with the Royals sweeping Baltimore in the ALCS, and LT Profits feels Kansas City is not done!
The World Series will begin next Tuesday, October 21st, and the Kansas City Royals (97-73) have already punched their ticket to the Fall Classic by sweeping away the Baltimore Orioles in four games in the ALCS. They now await their National League opponent, and as of the writing, the San Francisco Giants lead the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 in the NLCS with a chance to close out that series in Game 5. You can catch the entire World Series nationally on FOX.
Already Set Major League Record
The Royals have already set a Major League record this playoff season as by winning the American League Wild Card Playoff Game, then sweeping the top-seeded Los Angeles Angels in three games in the ALDS and then sweeping four games from the Orioles, that 8-0 record breaks the record for the longest winning streak to begin one post-season, breaking the old record of seven set by the 2007 Colorado Rockies.
It is interesting that after setting that record, the 2007 Colorado team was then on the other end, getting swept four games by the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. The difference between these Royals and those Rockies though is that Colorado was simply outclassed by a clearly superior American League team.
The Royals will not be outclassed by either National League participant though, and we are picking Kansas City to make its return to post-season baseball following a 29-year absence a triumphant one by winning the 2014 World Series. However, do not expect yet another sweep.
Royals -105 vs. the Field
Now, there are several ways that we could have played this and we opted to take the conservative route, so our official selection here is simply the Royals -105 vs. the Field. Yes we realize we could get Kansas City at underdog prices in the exact series matchups available at 5 Dimes Sportsbook, but we prefer not to sweat out a possible St. Louis comeback in the NLCS and choose to just make this play on its own merit.
And why not since the Royals should really fear neither of the National League teams that are still alive.
The major criticism about the Royals entering the playoffs was that they do not hit home runs, which was true as they ranked dead last in the Major League with their 95 home runs during the regular season. Rather remarkably though, they have hit eight home runs in eight post season games including a couple of game-winning homers in extra innings!
Still, that part of the Kansas City game has probably been an aberration to this point, but the fine pitching and base running has been par for the course and we feel those are the major reasons why the Royals will be crowned (pun intended). The Royals lead all American League playoff teams this playoff season in team ERA, bullpen ERA and stolen bases, and unlike the home runs, none of those can be considered anomalies.
The starting pitching starts with ace James Shields. Now, there was a lot of controversy when Manager Ned Yost pulled Shields early in the Wild Card Playoff Game after allowing the first two batters to reach base in the sixth inning, an already questionable move that was compounded when, with possibly the best bullpen in the American League at his disposal, he brought in a starter in Yordano Ventura that had just thrown over 70 pitches in a start two days earlier.
Ventura promptly allowed a three-run homer, and if not for the now familiar Royals’ grit that allowed them to overcome a couple of late deficits to come back to win that game, the seemingly boneheaded move by Yost would have prevented the world from seeing what a great story the Royals have become.
Shields came back to pitch well in the deciding Game 4 of the ALDS vs. the Angels before another mediocre outing in Game 1 of the ALCS where the Orioles reached him for four runs in five innings. The long rest should now help Shields though and he should be strong for Game 1 of the World Series going on 10 days rest.
After Shields, it has not really mattered who else started for the Royals because all the starters have done a good job. Ventura recovered from that shaky relief outing to allow one run on five hits in seven innings in his next start, Jason Vargas has made two post-season starts and posted a 2.38 ERA in those outings and Jeremy Guthrie took the start in Game 3 vs. the Orioles and allowed one run on three hits in five innings.
And keep in mind that the pitching success vs. the Angels and Orioles the last two series came vs. a couple of offenses that are both better than what Kansas City will face in the World Series! And of course, do not forget about that bullpen that leads all Major League playoff teams this year with a 1.80 ERA, a bullpen full of gas-throwing young arms that has 36 strikeouts in 35 playoff innings.
Finally, the 13 stolen bases the Royals have are just one fewer than the 14 stolen bases that the other nine Major League playoff participants this season have accumulated combined! Throw in the unexpected home runs and Kansas City truly looks like a team of destiny.
Royals +107 vs. the Giants
Now, another tempting offering in the exact World Series results at 5 Dimes was the Royals +107 to beat the Giants, and frankly considering San Francisco’s current position in its NLCS vs. St. Louis, we would not criticize anyone that opted for this play instead to get the Royals at positive odds as opposed to our actual play.
We have opted to play it safe because should Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals beat Madison Bumgarner in Game 5 in San Francisco, then that series would take on an entirely different complexion with the last two games scheduled for back in St. Louis. And frankly, although this play gets Kansas City to plus odds, we do not feel there is enough of a difference between our -105 and this +107 to take that chance.
All Exact Series Price Offerings
For the record, here are all of the exact World Series prices offered at 5 Dimes as of this writing.
Royals beat Giants +107
Royals beat Cardinals +1248
Giants beat Royals +107
Cardinals beat Royals +1325
Note that all of these propositions have action whether the stated matchups take place or not.
We are choosing not be that adventurous though so our betting choice is simply the Kansas City Royals to win the World Series at -105 regardless of the opponent.
MLB Pick: Royals -105 vs. the Field (to win World Series)