It’s been a good start to October, going 3-1-1 through the first five plays of the month. But the only problem is that it’s been a quick October. The Royals sweeping through the American League and the Giants only losing twice en route to another NL pennant has brought us to the World Series in some haste. Expect me to pump out some plays in this series with only another week or so of baseball left to be played. And it should be a great last hurrah before a long winter!
My only loss of the month was when I faded James Shields back in game one of the ALCS. And if there was a lesson to be learned, I didn’t learn it because I’m going right back to the well.
For as poorly as Baltimore’s offense played in that series, it managed to score some runs against Shields, who hasn’t been the shutdown ace that Madison Bumgarner has been. Shields has started three of the Royals’ eight playoff games and Kansas City has won all of them (duh). That shouldn’t cover up the fact that he’s only really pitched well in one of them – six innings and two runs allowed (on two solo homers) against the Los Angeles Angels.
Shields threw another 232 innings this season on top of what he’s done in the postseason, but he has had plenty of time off since starting on the 10th of this month. If those 10 days off can do something to Shields’ velocity, it will make his changeup that much more dangerous. But if there’s one thing Shields does consistently better than his opponents is battle. The only problem for him in this matchup is that is what the Giants do so well too. Between Shields’ fading velocity and the Giants’ approach, I don’t see him striking out a whole lot of batters on Tuesday. And if San Francisco continues to wait for the mistake pitch, James Shields has shown in this year’s playoffs that he does have a propensity to make a few bad ones each time out. Combine all of this with the fact that the best pitcher on either side goes for San Francisco, and I don’t think KC has what it takes to take down Madison Bumgarner and the Giants in game one. I feel pretty good with the road team in game one of the World Series.
Free Pick: San Francisco (-107)
YTD: 42-28-3 +8.14
kansas city royals • San Francisco Giants