Royals won’t be flushed in Series

By Danny Albers

The Kansas City Royals are finding a way onto our television screens, into our hearts and now the 2014 World Series, and in my opinion they should be the favorites to become 2014 Major League Baseball champions.

For the first time in what seems like forever, baseball fans have an underdog team to cheer for. The Royals don’t do anything pretty, like hitting home runs and throwing perfect games. But, they play team baseball, and when the time comes they get the job done. And they have proven that, knocking down every obstacle in their way.

Unlike the rest of MLB’s playoff teams, it took the Royals until the last week of the regular season to clinch a spot. After what seems like a century of losing seasons, Kansas City fans were finally going to get to host a playoff game.

That game would be the American League Wild Card game, where they faced the Oakland Athletics. The Athletics fell from grace in the regular season after getting off to a record-breaking start and acquiring star pitchers.

The Athletics were heavily favored to win the game, and it looked that way as they led 7-3 going into the eighth inning. But, the Royals literally ran their way into the American League Division Series when they stole four bases and came back to win the game against the Athletics in 12 innings.

The Royals had little time to celebrate as they headed to Anaheim, Calif., to play the team that held MLB’s best regular season record, the Los Angeles Angels. Once again the odds weren’t in the Royals favor. The Royals came out and made a giant statement, sweeping the Angels and advancing into the 2014 AL Championship Series.

The Royals faced the Baltimore Orioles, a team that ranked first in all of MLB in team home runs. The Orioles swept the Detroit Tigers, the team that beat the Royals to win the AL Central Division. The Royals’ pitching led the charge in all four games, giving them yet another sweep in the 2014 playoffs and a perfect 8-0 record going into their first World Series since 1985.

For the Royals to win their first title in 29 years they must beat the National League’s San Francisco Giants, a team that has captured two of the last four World Series titles. With all the obstacles the Royals have overcome, it just seems like a perfect ending to their playoff push to knock off the Giants.

The teams are extremely similar. The Giants’ pitching has stumbled of late in the playoffs, but it is star-studded and can be depended on to come through on the big stage like they’ve done so many times before. The Royals’ pitching staff is a perfect mix of veterans and young promise and has arguably been the strongest staff in the playoffs. The Royals’ bullpen has been the story of the postseason, being almost untouchable.

If the Royals keep the games close then they will have a good chance at winning just like they did in all the prior series.