Four Keys for the Royals to Win the World Series
By David Hill
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Jump on the Giants Starters Early
One of the keys to the Royals ability to run the Orioles out of the postseason was their ability to take early leads. Seemingly regardless of what pitcher they were facing, the Royals would score early and often, putting the pressure on the opposition. As the Orioles found out, trying to come back against the Royals contact and speed offense can be an exhausting experience.
Getting to the Giants starters would also lead to the bonus of getting into their bullpen. Even though the Giants the lowest postseason ERA at 1.78, and posted a 3.01 ERA in the regular season, there are still potential holes. Sergio Romo was not exactly the definition of a shutdown closer before being demoted to a setup role, posting a 3.72 ERA during the regular season while allowing nine home runs. That tendency towards the longball has appeared during the postseason as well, as Romo gave up a game winning home run to Kolten Wong during Game Two of the NLCS.
The Giants new closer, Santiago Casilla, had closed before in 2012, but has typically pitched as a setup man over his career. While Casilla had an impressive 1.70 ERA this season, his expected ERA was at 3.18, more in line with his career 3.20 mark. Casilla has also had occasional control problems, walking three batters in his 6.2 innings of work this postseason.
San Francisco’s bullpen, even though they have performed well, may not be the strength that the Royals bullpen has been this season In fact…