Brandon_BeltWith a 3-2 series lead in hand, the San Francisco Giants are now just one win away from winning their third World Series title in four years. After taking two games of three in San Francisco, the series will now shift back to Kansas City for Game 6 on Tuesday and, if necessary, Game 7 on Wednesday. The Giants will entrust the right arm of Jake Peavy to put the finishing touches on the series. The 33-year old has received mixed reviews in three starts this postseason, posting a modest 3.26 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP in 14.2 innings pitched. After having spent four and a half seasons with the White Sox in the American League Central, the veteran is no stranger to the Kansas City Royals. In 14 career starts against his World Series rivals, Peavy holds a 4.97 ERA in 83.1 innings pitched. Opposite of Peavy, the Royals will send out rookie fire-balling right-hander Yordano Ventura. The 23-year old Dominican Republic native enjoyed a terrific season during his first full year as a big league starter. Ventura tossed 183 innings in 30 starts for K.C. this past season, and effectively limited baserunners by posting a 1.25 WHIP. After Brandon Moss welcomed Ventura to the playoff with a 3-run bomb during the Wild Card game, the righties confidence hasn’t been shaken. In three starts since the Wild Card play-in game, Ventura has allowed seven runs in eighteen innings pitched, which averages out to an ERA around 3.65.

  • Yoenis Cespedes’ career in Boston could be a short lived one after all. According to a recent report, the Red Sox will try to trade the slugging outfielder this season, after the Cuban native received harsh reviews from some Red Sox personnel. While Cespedes’ power will obviously leave a gaping hole in Boston’s order, the team already has a ton of in house candidates to award the job to. Cespedes, on the other hand, could be used as an enticing trade chip in the Red Sox search for an ace. (The Red Sox will eventually trade Yoenis Cespedes eventually)
  • If the Red Sox are looking to fill the void at the top of their rotation by acquiring a free agent starter, they will need to decide between Jon Lester and James Shields. While talent is obviously a huge aspect in deciphering between the two, contract length and cost is also an important consideration for the team. Lester, as we know, is bound to cash in on a deal well north of $120M figures that were floated around while he was still in Boston. Shields, who is three years older than Lester, will still come at a cost to the Red Sox. After factoring in player comparisons and market rates, the right-hander could be looking at a four year deal approaching $90M. (Quantifying the decision between Jon Lester and James Shields)
  • Whether the Red Sox extend Yoenis Cespedes this winter, or trade him and ink Pablo Sandoval, the price range will probably be about the same. So which is the wiser investment for Boston to make? Cespedes is a nice trade chip, but the one remaining year on his contract hardly warrants a large return, unless packaged with other players. Sandoval would provide a switch-hitting presence in the Sox order and fill the vacant third bases spot, but it he worth an $100M contract. (The Red Sox $100 million question: Yoenis Cespedes or Pablo Sandoval?)
  • Monday marked the ten year anniversary of the Red Sox curse-breaking 2004 World Series title. Under a total lunar eclipse, the Red Sox broke the 86-year championship-less drought by defeating the Cardinals in four games. While most of the players from that historic team have moved on from baseball, they can still recount the events that October like it was yesterday. (Clincher in ’04 a culmination of magical run)
  • Tweet of the day: Thanks to Foulkie and all the 2004 Sox.