Which Team Would The Royals Rather Face In The World Series?
The Kansas City Royals clinched the American League Championship against the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday, and will move on to the World Series for the first time in 29 years.
Fans are celebrating the historic moment, but the boys in blue aren't out of the woods just yet.
Now the question is which team will they face off against: the St. Louis Cardinals or the San Francisco Giants? And which would be a better matchup?
Here's a look at both teams and some of their advantages and disadvantages:
Some believe that the Cardinals would be ideal because of some key injuries and postseason slumps. Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright's performance has been off, allowing 17 hits over the nine total innings that he has played in the playoffs so far.
Catcher Yadier Molina strained his left oblique during game two of the NLCS, leaving his status for a potential World Series appearance questionable.
There's also the matter of the Cardinals' frequent success in the postseason. They've made it to the World Series five times since 1985, winning two of them. Cardinals fan Blake Hartin told KCUR's Elle Moxley that he believes some hold that against them.
"I feel like a lot of Royals fans want it to be the Giants playing in the Royals because they don’t want to share the attention with the Cardinals," Hartin said. "The Cardinals have gotten an awful lot of post season attention."
As they showed in game four of the NLCS, the Giants are quick to take advantage of their opponents' mistakes, after they came back from a three run deficit to win 6-4.
The Giants have some impressive stats in the postseason so far, with players like catcher Buster Posey boasting a .333 batting average over the last nine games. Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong has thrown exceptionally well during the postseason, but allowed four runs during Wednesday's game.
All that said, the Royals swept the Giants in a three-game series during the regular season in August. In a conversation with Up to Date's Steve Kraske, KCUR's Greg Echlin said that while that is encouraging, the Giants are still a threat.
"The Royals showed earlier in the season that they're capable of beating the Giants," Echlin said. "What the Giants have going for them is the same thing that Kansas City has right now — they're 'clicking' at the right time."
The Giants lead the Cardinals 3-1 in the NLCS, and will move on to the World Series if they win game five Thursday.