OVER PREDICTION: GIANTS
So hopefully, we won't be rained out during the Giants' stay in Kansas City as what did happen to the Dbacks before the arrival of the Giants. More interleague play is at hand, and the Giants have proved to easily cruise through interleague match ups, with the exception of the first place AL Central Twins. Now they face the Royals, who are five games behind the Twins in the AL Central. At the beginning of the season, everyone was raving on how well the Royals were doing as they blast off to a spectacular record, but after their great start, the Royals have fallen short and are now just an average team.
In the first game of this series, the Giants send their hard-throwing right hander, Jason Schmidt against Chris George. Most of the Royals have faced Schmidt before, and like everyone else in the league, have not had very much success against him. The Giants have never seen George before, with the exception of Ray Durham who's been playing in the AL.
The second game is between Austrilian lefty, Damian Moss and righty D.J. Carrasco. Moss is still trying to recover from his slump. In his last outing against the Detroit Tigers, he only pitched three innings and was taken out of the game because of his poor performance. Hopefully, Moss will get back into his rhythm.
In the last game, rookie Jerome Williams, still pitching in place of Kurt Ainsworth who is still on the 15-day DL, will go against Kyle Snyder. Williams was impressive in his last outing, second of his major league career and second one on the road, but was unable to last to get his first major league win.
Neither team has faced each other's starting pitchers for the second or third games, so it will depend on which team sends out the better arm, but an ace like Schmidt should easily be able to take game one for the Giants.
J.T. Snow (.276)
Andres Galarraga (.359)
Mike Sweeney (.318)
Mendy Lopez (.268)
Snow and Galarraga combine for a good defensive threat.
Sweeney has been really hot for the Royals, and Snow and Galarraga have been consistent at times, but Sweeney has the upper hand because of his hot hitting.
Ray Durham (.327)
Neifi Perez (.281)
Desi Relaford (.289)
Brent Abernathy (.042)
Durham and Perez have combined for minimal errors, while the Royals have a decent second baseman in Ralaford, but the Giants' good overall defense gives Durham and Perez the edge.
Durham wins this battle over Relaford not by much, but Durham has been too consistent and too hot to be ignored. Relaford has also been climbing to the top with his hitting. Abernathy has been horrible for the Royals, hitting a weak .042 for the season.
Rich Aurilia (.266)
Angel Berroa (.266)
Aurilia has been in the league longer and has been playing with one the of the best defensive teams in the league. Berroa is still learning, so he will have to earn this honor against Aurilia.
It's difficult to not give this one to Aurilia after his pinch hit grand slam in the third game against the White Sox. However, Berroa has been one of the top hitters for Kansas City, so this is somewhat tied but Aurilia gets the edge because of his latest heroics.
Edgardo Alfonzo (.214)
Pedro Feliz (.246)
Joe Randa (.248)
Alfonzo takes a lot of pride in his defense, and Feliz has shown us his ability to play around the diamond, starting at first base for the first time in his career in his last game against the White Sox.
I don't care what's happening, I am still sticking by Alfonzo. I strongly believe he will come around very soon and stay consistent. Feliz has also been pretty impressive at the plate. On the other hand, Randa has also been a decent bat for the Royals.
Benito Santiago (.293)
Yorvit Torrealba (.305)
Brent Mayne (.260)
Mike DiFelice (.304)
Santiago is still one of the best catchers to throw base stealers out. His presence will also be needed with Moss and Williams starting.
Even though Santiago is in a slump right now, he usually never stays in slumps for very long, and since he's already been in this slump for a while now, it's time for him to start delivering again (hopefully in time for the All-Star Voting!).
Barry Bonds (.309)
Raul Ibanez (.274)
Bonds has a shelf full of gold gloves, and Ibanez hasn't gathered any in his career. Bonds also is yet to make an error, and while Ibanez does have a little bit more in terms of range, it's not enough to keep the title of defensive advantage away from Bonds.
Bonds dominates Ibanez in offensive categories. He is just a better overall hitter. Ibanez also has been struggling so far in June, while Bonds has been doing quite well in the month, especially in terms of power numbers. He has hit 5 home runs in June, with a .353 batting average.
Marquis Grissom (.313)
The Royals have a strong advantage in the defensive category. Beltran is a superior fielder to Grissom in all ways. Neither is a bad defensive player, but nontheless, Beltran is quite a bit better on his feet and with the glove , and that may come into play in this series.
It's not about who's hot and who's not in this match-up. It's about who is hotter. And that would easily be Beltran. That's not saying that Grissom is a bad player. But Beltran has been hitting above .400 in June, and he's gone 6-9 in his last two games. He has a clear advantage in this case.
Jose Cruz. Jr (.264)
Michael Tucker (.248)
The errorless streak continues. It is now the middle of June, and Cruz is yet to make a single error. And to top it all off, he has much better range than Tucker as well. The only issue now is that Cruz has not had an assist for a while. Perhaps he could get back into the habit of gunning runners down with that arm of his.
In the past few series, Cruz has had an atrocious batting average against the opposing team's pitchers. For the first time in a while, he hits decently against the oppositinons pitchers. Tucker also hits pretty well against the Giants, although Schmidt has pretty much dominated him. Even without these numbers. Cruz has the clear advantage. He's finally breaking out of his long slump, while Tucker is now going into one of his own. Tucker hasn't had a multi-hit game since May 30, when he had three hits against the A's in an 11-6 Royals victory.
Andres Galarraga (.359)
Ken Harvey (.220)
No question about it. Galarraga is the better hitter. Even though he's not doing all that well right now, he's doing a lot better than Harvey's done this whole year.
Jason Schmidt (5-2, 2.44)
Damian Moss (6-4, 4.42)
Jerome Williams (0-1, 5.74)
Chris George (6-4, 6.86)
D.J Carrasco (3-4, 3.67)
Kyle Snyder (1-3, 3.86)
The Giants win in this battle, though Moss has not been pitching that well. It will be a close battle, but the Giants have a slight edge because of Schmidt, and also because Williams keeps getting better and better. The Royals have a guy who is mostly a relief pitcher starting in this series.
The Giants have an advantage in terms of relievers, especially for one important reason. Carrasco IS a reliever, yet he will be starting the second game. That weakens the Royals relief squad, and gives the Giants the advantage because the Royals won't have quite as many decent relievers as they would have if Carrasco wasn't starting.
Tim Worrell is doing great, there is no arguing that. He has more saves than the Royals closer Mike MacDougal, and also gives up fewer hits per inning. Neither are bad closers, of course. If either has a lead in the 9th inning, chances are they will keep that lead.
Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps, other articles, and is one of the Two Giant Prophets for SFDugout.com. Any comments or questions about the article, baseball, or the meaning of life can be sent to Sara at email@example.com
Jesse Radin writes for SFDugout.com and has been a Giants follower since 1996. The Blind Observer is Jesse's column covering all things baseball, though mainly about the Giants. Questions or comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org