The Giants look to take a 2-0 series lead tonight in Kansas City.
Importance of Game 2
The Game 1 winner has won 63 percent of the 108 World Series, and the historical title odds jump to 79 percent for teams that go up 2-0 (42 of 53).
Should the Giants win tonight, they'll be the 14th team to win the first two games on the road, and 10 of those previous 13 teams won the World Series.
Lost World Series Game 1
at home by 6+ runs
However, of the four teams to go up 2-0 on the road since 1975, only one (the 1999 Yankees) went on to win the series. That list includes the 1985 Cardinals, who won the opening pair of games in Kansas City before the Royals came back to win their sole World Series title.
Historically, getting blown out in Game 1 at home hasn't been as devastating as you might think. The Royals are the fifth team to lose Game 1 at home by six or more runs, and the previous three all bounced back to win the World Series.
Which Peavy shows up?
Jake Peavy, who was traded from Boston to San Francisco in July, will become the third pitcher to start a game in consecutive World Series for teams in different leagues. He allowed two runs in four innings against the Cardinals in Game 2 last season.
SP in consecutive World Series
in different leagues
His postseason record hasn't been good, with a 7.03 ERA in seven career starts, the third-highest postseason ERA for any pitcher with at least seven starts, behind Ed Figueroa (7.47) and Jaret Wright (7.07).
However, he's been good this year, allowing two runs in 9 2/3 innings in two starts.
Aided by the switch to the National League and pitcher-friendly ballparks, Peavy turned things around after the midseason trade. He had a 4.72 ERA and a .273 opponents' batting average with the Red Sox before posting a 2.17 ERA and a .231 opponents' batting average with San Francisco.
VenturaPeavy's counterpart on the mound tonight, Yordano Ventura, will be the first Royals rookie to start a World Series game at any position. He looked great in seven innings of one-run ball against the Los Angeles Angels in the ALDS, but he allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings against Baltimore in the ALCS before leaving with shoulder tightness.
During the regular season, Ventura threw 108 pitches at 100 mph or faster. All other regular starters threw a total of five such pitches (minimum 10 starts).
The known and the unknown
Ventura will have the benefit of unfamiliarity against San Francisco, as none of the Giants hitters have ever faced him.
But San Francisco is hitting a league-leading .377 on pitches of 95 mph or more in the playoffs, striking out only six times in 68 plate appearances.
Royals hitters will be happy to see Peavy. In 147 at-bats against him, the likely Kansas City starting lineup has hit a combined .313 with seven home runs and a .510 slugging percentage.
Designated hitter Billy Butler has three homers and a .424 career batting average against Peavy, his second-best average versus any pitcher (minimum 20 at-bats).