On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every postseason series during the 2014 season.
The Teams: The 2014 World Series is a history-maker in the fact that both contestants were forced to play the one-game Wild Card play-in. In fact, the Royals hadn't lost a postseason game this year until dropping Game 1. The Giants are back in the Fall Classic after winning it all in 2010 and 2012 while missing the postseason in 2011 and 2013. Even-numbered years are their friends.
Past 2014 Meetings: The teams actually met in Interleague play, with the Royals winning the regular-season series 3-0, outscoring them 16-6 over the three games. The Giants took Game 1 of the World Series, but the Royals came back and won Games 2 and 3 before the Giants took 4 and 5.
Pitching Matchups: Tuesday — Jake Peavy (6-4, 2.17 ERA) vs. Yordano Ventura (14-10, 3.20); Wednesday* — Tim Hudson (9-13, 3.57) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (13-11, 4.13)
*Game 7, if necessary
Who's Hot: Luckily for Kansas City, the Royals won't have to face Madison Bumgarner again after he fired a shutout in Game 5 to give the Giants a 3-2 series edge. Unfortunately for Hunter Pence, Bumgarner has basically locked up MVP honors if the Giants hold on, because Pence has made a strong case. He's batting .474 in the series with two doubles, a homer and five RBIs. Then, there's Pablo Sandoval, who continues to produce in his World Series career, as he's hitting .364 in the five games, so far.
Guess who's back? Back again. Billy's back, tell your friends. Royals DH Billy Butler returns to the starting lineup under AL rules, and that's a big boost for the Royals as he's hitting .429 with a couple of RBIs in his limited World Series action. Catcher Salvador Perez, the hero of the AL Wild Card Game, is scorching at the plate with a .353 average to go with a double, a homer and four RBIs.
Who's Not: Buster Posey is hitting just .211 in the World Series and has two RBIs, but of course, we all know Posey has so much more value than can be taken from his offensive numbers. Both Peavy and Hudson struggled in their first starts of the World Series, giving up four and three runs, respectively, while failing to get out of the sixth inning.
It's a wonder the Royals are in this thing, and a testament to their pitching, that Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas, who helped carry the Royals to eight straight wins to start the postseason, are hitting .100 and .188, respectively, in the World Series. Those two guys really need to produce in order for the Royals to fight back and force a Game 7, much less win a Game 7.