Take the Kansas City Royals, on at 1.67, to win game six of the World Series at home against the San Francisco Giants.
With the Giants up three-games-to-two, San Francisco could could clinch a World Series championship with a win in this Tuesday contest. Conventional wisdom would dictate that Royals’ starter Yordano Ventura is the hurdle in the way of Giants’ glory. But the real obstacle might be their own pitcher Jake Peavy.
Peavy is coming off a game wherein he lasted just five innings and gave up six hits and four runs. In eight career post-season starts, he’s never thrown a quality start (six innings or more pitched; three runs or fewer allowed). He was also woeful on the road in 2014. In 16 away games, he put up a 4.60 ERA (compared to a 2.85 ERA) at home. None of these factors cut well for the veteran.
Ventura, who is only 23-years-old, is a bit of a wild card. In three post-season starts he’s had two solid ones and one wobbly outing. If he can master his emotions – and considering one of his decent performances came in this series there’s reason to believe he will do so – he has the raw ability to dominate. The average velocity on his fastball was the highest among Major League starting pitchers in 2014 (97 mph). If he shows the confidence to use his secondary pitches, he will be dominating.
One final point – the Royals vaunted bullpen stars – Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland – are rested (Herrera and Davis had a day off and Holland hasn’t pitched in four days). They should be well-positioned to close out a close game if Ventura can hand them a lead for the final three innings.
Look of the Royals and Giants’ lineups to combine for more than 7 runs; take it at 1.82
When these two pitcher’s squared off in game two of this series, nine runs were scored. There is no reason to believe that a total of that amount or more won’t occur. I do like Ventura, but Peavy is shaky (as discussed above), and both these teams have shown an ability to jump on struggling pitchers. (The Giants have put up as many as eleven runs in a game in this series and, most notably, the Royals have reached seven runs in a contest and it happened in a game started by, yep, Peavy.)