With the series tied at 1-1, the setting shifts to San Francisco.

Royals (Jeremy Guthrie) at Giants (Tim Hudson) 8:00 pm ET
PECOTA odds of winning: 31% Royals, 69% Giants

Projected Starting Lineups

Royals vs. Hudson (R)

Giants vs. Guthrie (R)

Alcides Escobar (R) SS

Gregor Blanco (L) CF

Nori Aoki (L) RF

Joe Panik (L) 2B

Lorenzo Cain (R) CF

Buster Posey (R) C

Eric Hosmer (L) 1B

Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B

Alex Gordon (L) LF

Hunter Pence (R) RF

Salvador Perez (R) C

Brandon Belt (L) 1B

Omar Infante (R) 2B

Travis Ishikawa (L) LF

Mike Moustakas (L) 3B

Brandon Crawford (L) SS

Jeremy Guthrie (R) P

Tim Hudson (R) P

Injuries/Availability: Mike Morse, still shaking the rust from time missed due to a strained oblique, has been limited to DH and pinch-hit duty thus far this postseason. Tim Lincecum left last game with back tightness. He probably won't pitch no matter what. Danny Duffy threw 59 pitches, so on two days rest he's probably still unavailable, or mostly so.

Outlook: A battle between smallish right-handed pitchers making their first World Series starts.

Guthrie is the statistical underdog. His strikeout, walk, home run, and groundball rates were each worse than Hudson's were during the regular season. (He also had the wider platoon split.) Nonetheless, Guthrie will throw a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a change, slider, and knuckle curve. The last time he pitched, Yost gave him a very short leash, pulling him after five innings and one run allowed when the order turned over the third time. Given the uncertainty about the rest of the rotation, and without a well-rested long man, and with two more games after this before his bullpen will get a break, Yost might not be quite so proactive this time around. In such a situation, Twitter's many amateur managers will be fully amplified if Guthrie steps afield for the sixth inning.

Hudson has altered his approach in the postseason, all but eliminating the curveball from his arsenal. Should that pattern remain true, expect to see him throw a lot of sinkers, cutters, and splitters. Contrariwise, don't look for much in the way of the three true outcomes when Hudson is on the mound. In particular, he has been inching back toward the elite control he showed early in the season, having not walked a batter in two postseason starts. Broken down into sectionals:

  • April and May: One walk every 11.7 innings
  • June through August: One every 4.2 innings
  • September/October: One every seven innings

He might face a mildly shaken-up Royals lineup: Ned Yost was said to be considering starting Jarrod Dyson, not Norichika Aoki, which would help seal off the massive right-center area of AT&T Park. It would also give the Royals a more credible left-handed bat for an otherwise all-right-handed bench. Yost will also have Butler available to him, and it will be interesting to see whether he tries to save Butler for one of Bruce Bochy's two lefties in the bullpen or go straight to Butler if the situation, and the pitcher's spot in the lineup, call for it earlier.

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Royals are 10-1 in the post-season. Have they been favored by PECOTA Odds in any of these games? Is PECOTA 1-10 in the post-season? They probably shouldn't have been favored at any point along the way. However, What use is PECOTA if it can't suss out unforseen rampages like the Royals have experienced? Sample size. I get it. However, some nuance is lacking in the production of baseball forecasting. As a horse player, even the most astute handicappers are able to dial in longshots from time to time. Baseball forecasts, not so much.
The Royals were favored to win the Orioles series
Sam, speaking of horse racing, I feel like a horses ass. Thank you.