The baseball world series begins on Tuesday night with the American and National league winners battling it out for the title of 2014 World champions. The series is previewed here

RECOMMENDATIONS

San Francisco Giants to win at Evens William Hill

Number of Games in series: Seven, 2-1 William Hill

This is set to be a very close series between the Royals, who have not appeared in the World Series since 1985, and the Giants who have won two of the last four.

Both teams are in red-hot form and have spent the post-season as underdogs. They both controlled their respective divisions for a time in the regular season, only to fall behind the pre-season favorites late on. Both qualified for the play-offs as wild cards. Both dominated in the divisional and championship rounds without home field advantage. They enter the World Series with impressive postseason streaks intact.

For Kansas City, they’ve won an MLB record eight straight games to begin the postseason. For San Francisco, it’s nine straight wins in postseason series.

SCHEDULE

Kauffman Stadium will host Game 1 on Tuesday night.

Game 1: Tuesday at Kansas City, 8:07 p.m. ET
Game 2: Wednesday at Kansas City, 8:07 p.m. ET
Game 3: Friday at San Francisco, 8:07 p.m. ET
Game 4: Saturday at San Francisco, 8:07 p.m. ET
Game 5:* Sunday at San Francisco, 8:07 p.m. ET
Game 6:* Tuesday, Oct. 28 at Kansas City, 8:07 p.m. ET
Game 7:* Wednesday, Oct 29 at Kansas City, 8:07 p.m. ET
* if necessary

PREVIOUSLY

The Royals have swept their way through the playoffs, and they also own a sweep of the Giants this season. The Royals took all three from the visiting Giants back in early August outscoring them 16-6. That series came right in the middle of Kansas City’s 14-2 stretch that temporarily propelled them into the AL Central lead.

PITCHING

Game 1:  Madison Bumgarner (2-1, 1.42) vs. James Shields (1-0, 5.63)
Game 2: Jake Peavy (1-0, 1.86) vs. Yordano Ventura (0-0, 4.85)
Game 3: TBD vs. Tim Hudson (0-0, 3.29)
Game 4: TBD vs. Ryan Vogelsong (0-0, 5.19)
Game 5: Shields vs. Bumgarner
Game 6: TBD
Game 7: TBD

(postseason stats)

Bumgarner comes in riding a 26 2/3 scoreless innings streak on the road in the postseason. He’ll be on full rest coming into Game 1, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him come back on short rest if need be in this series. Veterans Hudson and Peavy have done an excellent job supplementing the rotation with Matt Cain injured and Tim Lincecum banished to the bullpen. The Giants are in good shape, and Bruce Bochy also has workhorse Yusmeiro Petit available should one of the aforementioned struggle.

On the other side, Kansas City’s bullpen is its strength, but its impact in the series will be dependent on the rotation’s performance. Even though the Royals have won all three of Shields’ postseason starts, he’s looked vulnerable, allowing three home runs and 10 earned runs in 16 innings. His career postseason ERA is 5.16 in 50 1/3 innings. If that doesn’t turn around, it will put some extra pressure on the 22-year-old Ventura and a rotation likely to be filled out by veterans Jason Vargas and Jeremy Guthrie

RECOMMENDATION

Although the Royals’ hitters have got somewhat hotter in the post-season this is a team built around their pitching bullpen, batting speed and defense in the outfield.

The Giants, winners of two of the last four World Series, have a key advantage of experience in this upcoming series with two appearances on baseball’s biggest stage since 2010. Yet they are marginal underdogs here, probably because they have (potentially) four games away and three at home. William Hill’s even money for them to take the series is value in the outrights

With both teams matching up well, and in great form, it could very well be a very close series and a seven game series, available at 2-1 is an interesting bet too

RECOMMENDATIONS

San Francisco Giants to win at Evens William Hill

Number of Games in series: Seven, 2-1 William Hill