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World Series preview: 4 reasons the Giants will win

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The Giants have "experience" and other important things that matter. Also, they can really hit and have Bruce Bochy in the dugout.

SB Nation 2014 MLB Bracket

1. Baseball is a jerk

There is rhyme to baseball. There is reason. There's an inequitable brand of equity. There's a perverted kind of balance. Baseball is a sport with a long history of the same people winning and the same people losing, punctuated by short bursts of new faces. It's always the Yankees until it isn't. It's always the Cardinals until it isn't. At one point, the Red Sox snuck on the list, and now it's always them until it isn't.

Somehow, the Giants are one of those teams now. They've taken more than their share, recently. For some reason, baseball seems to reward that. Baseball is running a scam charity, and the people who don't need any help are getting the most. Look at the Cardinals ruining the Nationals and Rangers, both. Look at the Giants bouncing the Pirates in the same postseason they have a chance to hurt the Royals. That's baseball sitting on your chest and thumping it with a single, stumpy finger just because it can.

It would be too perfect for the Royals to win, too Horatio Alger. It would remind people that for all the whining about salary caps and big markets, that baseball has more parity than any of the major sports (save hockey, perhaps). That doesn't seem like a secret that baseball likes to reveal. I am not sure why It does the things that It does, to be honest, but I'm sure it will all be revealed when It is ready.

Baseball likes to see people suffer more than the alternatives. It's why 29 teams spend the winter thinking about ways it all could have gone differently. The Royals getting so close and yet so far away from a championship just seems like something that's going to happen, even if it's grossly unfair.

2. The Giants can hit fastballs

As Kevin Ruprecht from Beyond the Box Score notes and Eno Sarris confirms, the Giants can hit a fastball. From Yordano Ventura down to the bullpen stalwarts, the Royals can throw a mean fastball. They can throw offspeed pitches, too, but a big part of the Royals' game is getting the other team to wave through fastballs. The Giants are, as a group, not prone to waving through fastballs.

Just ignore the Royals thoroughly dominating the Giants in a three-game series this summer, and we'll be fine.

The header is "the Giants can hit fastballs," but the last word isn't exactly necessary. The Giants can hit. Even without Angel Pagan, they can field a lineup with nine players who finished 2014 with an adjusted OPS over the league average:

Giants lineup by OPS+
Gregor Blanco, 103
Joe Panik, 104
Buster Posey, 143
Pablo Sandoval, 111
Hunter Pence, 121
Michael Morse, 130
Brandon Belt, 114
Travis Ishikawa, 109
Brandon Crawford, 104

By comparison, the Royals had just two players over the league average -- Alex Gordon (117) and Lorenzo Cain (108). The reason they were able to win the pennant was because they played differently than they had for the previous six months, hitting copious dingers in addition to their plucky brand of small ball. If they lose the home runs, though -- which you might expect, considering what they did all year -- there just isn't enough offense to match with the Giants.

On the other hand, Travis Ishikawa just hit one of the most famous home runs in Giants history, so it's not like I know what in the hell is going on.

3. The Giants have experience

Ah, the intangibles. Things you can't prove. Things that can't be proven wrong. It appears we're at a stalemate, here. So I'll just point to something that can't be disproved. The Giants have experience. They've been here before. They ... wait for it ... wait for it ... know how to winnnnnnnn. And other annoying cliches.

Except, I've seen this actually mean something. In the NLCS, Aaron Barrett looked like he tried to swallow a tarantula and got it stuck halfway down. He fired pitches into the dirt. He couldn't find the plate. He was squeezing the ball like he was trying to juice it.

Pablo Sandoval

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval singles in Game 5 of the NLCS (Thearon W. Henderson).

I've seen it in managers, too. Barrett was in the game, facing Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval, because his manager, Matt Williams, decided that was the best matchup he could possibly manufacture. He had Tyler Clippard in the bullpen, but he chose to pitch Barrett. That's a classic case of first-time manager brain. Why change what you've done all season? Well, there's this thing called the postseason, see ...

The Giants are four percent less likely to twitch and stress-vomit during an important moment. That doesn't sound like much, but it's a slight advantage. When predicting these things, those four-percent differences are the only straws you can grasp for.

4. The Giants don't give away outs

"Moneyball is dead. My column:"

"The Royals are bunting and stealing, just like the statheads can't stand. My column:"

"How the Royals used small ball to ball so small they balled the smallest of small balls. My column:"

It's going to be insufferable, absolutely insufferable, once it st ... oh, no, not Time Magazine:

But the Royals are more than just an enchanting small-market success story. They represent the changing game of baseball.

I just made a noise like Cathy. Straight aaaack. Scared the cat.

There are times to give away outs. When a run wins the game in the bottom of the ninth, for example. If a weak hitter is up in that situation and a stronger hitter is behind him, Bruce Bochy will bunt. He's not anti-bunt. But the Giants bunted less than any team in the National League -- a non-pitcher completed a successful sacrifice for them just 20 times this year.

The Royals actually bunted fewer times than the American League average this year, so it's not like they've been bunting fools this whole time. In the postseason, though, Ned Yost has embraced this new identity, this latter day, '85 Cardinals idea of run manufacturing. It's worked so far. The Royals will continue bunting players like Lorenzo Cain, just like they did in the ALDS and ALCS because it's worked.

Statistically, it shouldn't work. It should prevent big innings more than anything else. Now, the difference between run expectations in these situations are often overblown -- the difference between a runner on second with one out and a runner on first with no outs is a fifth of a run, on average. It's like breathlessly arguing that a .270 hitter is far superior than a .250 hitter, as if you can tell the difference in a best-of-seven series.

But as long as we're pretending to know the future, here's another one of those teeny tiny advantages to pick on because the huge, substantial advantages don't exist. The Giants are less likely to give away an out in the first inning. On average, that should give them a slight edge.

Baseball is an aging Hunter S. Thompson -- erratic, probably on something, and discharging firearms into the air for no good reason -- so we should know that we can't trust it. Given the choice between the manager who knows that giving away outs are bad and Ned Yost, though, you sort of have to choose the former.