The World Series Could Be The Ultimate Battle 

Apparently the naysayers haven't watched a minute of the MLB playoffs.

The fans who have watched and experienced goose bumps during the month of October can't wait for Game 1 of the 2014 World Series tonight at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

The Fall Classic between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals, appears to be an epic battle waiting to happen.

Sure, it's not star-studded and doesn't involve any teams from L.A. or NYC.

Clayton Kershaw is at home.

Miguel Cabrera doesn't have another at-bat this year.

And the next face of MLB, with the retirement of Derek Jeter, Mike Trout is on vacation.

With no Yankees, Dodgers or Red Sox in the mix, this is a different party all together.

Neither team left standing in October won 90 games in the regular season. Neither team was predicted by most experts to have a shot at winning it all.

Instead, we have the first World Series featuring two Wild Card teams. For sure, there are some baseball purists sick over this development.

"Just because you missed winning your division by a game or two shouldn't surprise people that the Wild Card team can go through the playoffs," Royals' pitcher Jeremy Guthrie said.


Neither team slipped through the backdoor or fluked their way onto the game's biggest stage.

Oh no, baby.

Both belong here. They enter the World Series with a combined 16-2 record this post-season. Without question, they have earned a spot in the best-of-seven series that matches up two teams that are mirror images of each other.

The Royals and Giants are so close in talent, desire and effort that if it were a six-game series it could wind up in a tie.

Settle in a comfy chair, pull your TV close to you and get ready to watch the conclusion of a postseason that has already been played in suitable-for-framing fashion.

"They're as hot as you can get," said Giants catcher Buster Posey about the Royals. "We know we're going to have our hands full with them."

The Royals and Giants played three interleague games during the regular season.

KC swept the August series, beating Madison Bumgarner, Tim Hudson and Tim Lincecum. The Royals also stole seven bases in the series and their star closer Greg Holland handled SF with little problem.

Nonetheless, few could have imagined this matchup, especially the Royals getting here. The Giants are in the World Series for the third time in five years, winning their first two trips.

Still, before the season, I picked the Royals to be here.

Yes, the team that hadn't been to the playoffs in 29 years and hadn't won a World Series since 1985.

I just loved their pitching, especially the bullpen, and their defense. Pitching and defense always gives you a chance to win – and win big.

In no way, however, could I have imagined that they would go a record 8-0 en route to the Fall Classic. First they beat the Oakland A's in a thrilling, extra-inning wild card play-in game. Then they swept the Los Angeles Angels in three games in the American League Division Series. Then, somehow, they swept the HR-happy Baltimore Orioles in four games. In the process, the Royals held the O's to just two runs in the final two games.

The Royals are a fun, energetic team. There are so many players that are exciting to watch, including Lorenzo Cain, the ALCS MVP.

Despite their postseason inexperience, the Royals have played big. The formula has been simple; good pitching, great defense and timely hitting. And they have speed, too.

Now they have to finish what they have started. Some think they will flame out, even get swept.

But I can't see that at all.

There's just something special about this group. It happens every once in a while in sports. The players just match, the mix is on point.

On paper, most would simply will pick the Giants. They have the better, proven players, and more of a track record in big games like this.

Still, you can't ignore the Royals' three straight extra inning wins to open the postseason. That's called October magic. Clearly, the Royals have it.



Parker's Pick:

Royals over the Giants in six games.

Rob Parker is a columnist for The Shadow League. He is also an analyst for Fox Sports 1 in Los Angeles. He co-hosts The Odd Couple on Fox Sports Radio and is also an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California.