The Royals head into Saturday night just two wins away from a World Series title and won’t have to face the Giants ace.

Royals (Jason Vargas) at Giants (Ryan Vogelsong) 8:00 pm ET

PECOTA odds of winning: 38.1% Royals, 61.9% Giants

Projected Starting Lineups

Royals vs. Vogelsong (R)

Giants vs. Vargas (L)

Alcides Escobar (R) SS

Gregor Blanco (L) CF

Alex Gordon (L) LF

Joe Panik (L) 2B

Lorenzo Cain (R) CF

Buster Posey (R) C

Eric Hosmer (L) 1B

Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B

Mike Moustakas (L) 3B

Hunter Pence (R) RF

Omar Infante (R) 2B

Brandon Belt (L) 1B

Salvador Perez (R) C

Brandon Crawford (L) SS

Jarrod Dyson (L) CF

Juan Perez (R) LF

Jason Vargas (L) P

Ryan Vogelsong (R) P

Injuries/Availability: With no DH available, Mike Morse will likely be relegated to pinch-hitting duty once again as he continues to work his way back from an oblique injury. Tim Lincecum left Game Two with back tightness, but Bruce Bochy says all systems are go for the starter-turned-long-reliever. Kelvin Herrera tossed 27 pitches on Friday after a 32-pitch outing on Wednesday. It’ll be interesting to see how long Ned Yost sticks with Herrera if he’s needed in his normal seventh-inning slot.

Outlook: The hot topic entering Game Four will be Bochy’s decision to stick with Ryan Vogelsong over going to his ace Madison Bumgarner on short rest. Vogelsong has had one solid start this postseason (5 2/3 innings, one run on two hits) and one not-so-hot start (three innings, four runs on seven hits), but in the stinker he was backed up by a strong performance by his bullpen. Primary among those bullpen arms is Yusmeiro Petit, who has been brilliant in two long-relief outings (9 IP, 0 ER, 4 BB, 11 K) this postseason and will likely get tabbed – over the ailing Lincecum – if Vogelsong falters early.

Jason Varagas won’t have to face Morse, at least at the start, and it’s likely Travis Ishikawa will be replaced by Juan Perez in left. Perez is an obvious upgrade defensively, but the bat leaves much to be desired. However, outside of his brilliant NLCS, Ishikawa hasn’t done much; regardless, Perez is certainly less imposing at the plate. If Yost sticks with Friday’s lineup, Vargas, a fly-ball pitcher, will have the benefit of that elite outfield defense to go along with AT&T being a pitcher’s park.

Once again, this game is lining up for both managers to lean heavily on their bullpens. Herrera’s availability will be interesting, it’s the playoffs, so it’s likely he’ll be willing to go if needed, but his effectiveness may be diminished. While he still hasn’t allowed a hit or any runs in the World Series, he hasn’t looked as sharp, giving up four walks in his three innings of work.

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