Uneducated Guesses About the 2014 MLB Playoffs: World Series

By Kelen Conley

So maybe this picking winners for a sport I didn’t follow closely during the regular season thing isn’t as hard as I thought. I definitely will not change the name of the column from Uneducated Guesses though. Then I don’t look like an idiot when I’m wrong. And I would never try to sort out the NHL playoffs, don’t worry about that.

But here we are! The 2014 World Series, featuring the two hottest teams in baseball, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants? First, kudos to both ballclubs for making it to the Fall Classic. No easy task even if they both didn’t win more than 90 games in the regular season. But enough fun, I absolutely love that it comes down to the Royals and the Giants. No teams with the highest payroll, no annoyingly good shortstop getting one last chance at the Trophy (I will miss you though Derek Jeter. Much respect), and no teams that I hate!

The Royals haven’t lost a game in the postseason; the Giants have lost only 2. Both teams should be well rested, well coached, and well-oiled for tonight’s tip-off, er, I mean, first pitch. This is harder than picking between the Cardinals and Giants in the NLCS. And before I do:

I know the Giants were on a roll. I know Yadier got hurt. But I really thought the Cards would get more than ONE game. Sure, the games were all extremely close, but it never seemed like St. Louis wanted it as bad as San Francisco did. So much for my MLB Spurs theory.

The Royals haven’t lost ONE game since the postseason began and they’ve taken out TWO of the best teams in baseball this season in the Angels and the Orioles. More importantly, they could become the first team since the 1976 Cincinnati Reds to finish a postseason undefeated, and with more rounds now, they’d own the most impressive postseason run of all-time. I’m sure a second World Series crown would suffice though.

So who wins?

#4 Kansas City Royals v. #5 San Francisco Giants: The Giants won’t get swept. Neither will the Royals. Both ballparks have been extremely difficult for opposing teams, but both teams have won 4 games on the road this postseason, so you can almost throw home field out the window. And both of these ballclubs are so fundamentally sound that each game should be competitive and down to the last out. I’ve owned both Kansas City and San Francisco hats in my lifetime but only the SF one in my adulthood. Somebody get Cinderella her slipper. Royals in 6.

Uneducated Guesses About the 2014 MLB Playoffs: Championship Series

By Kelen Conley

So maybe my guesses aren’t so uneducated at all. And I think I should get partial credit for the Cardinals winning because I called the Dodgers the Clippers of baseball. Either way, it’s League Championship Series time!

This round is going to be much tougher for me to call. You have the Orioles who have looked like powerhouses all season. You have the “Nobody believes in us!” (h/t to Bill Simmons) story of the Royals. You have the Giants, who have won 2 World Series in 5 seasons. And the aforementioned Cardinals, who have been to the NLCS 4 straight times. I called them the Spurs of the MLB yesterday in an email. I really love the NBA if you couldn’t tell. But the consistency without flashiness is San Antonio’s M.O.. and I wouldn’t be surprised if Popovich was involved in some way.

These are 7 game series right?

American League

#1 Baltimore Orioles v. #4 Kansas City Royals: Kansas City proved once again that having the best record in baseball doesn’t mean anything as they wiped the 98 win Angels out in 3 games. The 96 win Orioles made short work of the Tigers, also in 3 games.

I’ve been so torn on this series. But I’m going to go with the hot team in October and I probably would’ve even if they hadn’t won Game 1. Royals in 6.

National League

#3 St. Louis Cardinals v. #5 San Francisco Giants: The Giants wrecked any hopes of a Baltimore/DC World Series and the Cardinals (along with the Royals) did the same to an all LA series, both in 4 games. When these two teams faced off in 2012, the Giants came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the defending World Series Champions. So not only do the Cardinals have the 2013 World Series runner-up chip on their shoulder, they get to enjoy 2 year old demons as well. On the other hand, the Giants are officially the NL’s hot October team. Choice, choices. I don’t like the Cards but dammit, Cardinals in 7.