Kansas City Royals to edge World Series opener by hair’s breadth

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The Kansas City Royals won 89 games during the regular season. Their World Series opponents, the San Francisco Giants, claimed 88. The Boys in Blue have won every postseason game they’ve played this season. The Orange and Black have won their last nine postseason series.

If it seems like there is little to separate the best two teams in the MLB this season, it’s because there isn’t. And the similarities between the pair continue to stack up.

Both sides entered the playoffs via the wild-card-match route, having lost ground on the ante-post favourites in their respective divisions during the regular season. Both were seen as underdogs when the October festivities began. Both went on to dominate.

Unsurprisingly, Ladbrokes can’t drive so much as a decimal point between them for Game 1 of the World Series, to be played at the Royals’ Kauffman Stadium, with the sides handed identical odds of 10/11 to win.

Perhaps an indicator lies in heritage? Well the Giants’ record of two World Series crowns in the past four years certainly trumps the Royals, who last got this far back in 1985.

Then again the three straight games Ned Yost’s men took off the Giants as recently as August, where they outscored their visitors 16-6, is fresh enough in the memory to eradicate any confidence such history breeds.

Bruce Bochy’s starting rotation is stronger, but Yost’s bullpen holds a slim advantage and neither club are offensively overpowering.

So, when it’s all boiled down, and decision time arrives to pick a Game 1 winner, the home advantage the Royals enjoy should tell considering they are unbeaten there both in the postseason and against the Giants this term.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.