* The San Francisco Giants head into a black out — a man and woman made black out at PNC Stadium — as fans of the gold and black Pirates, and OF Travis Snider, try to help the Bucs advance to the National League Division Series ….
By Bob Elliott
San Franciso Giants Giants
(Pirates won four of six meetings this year)
Team payroll: $149,089,475 (7th)
Octobers: 7 World Series, 22 Pennants, and 25 post-season appearances
Post-season record: 93-87.
Last post season: Swept Detroit in 2012 World Series.
Manager: Bruce Bochy
Run differential: Plus 51.
Stud Hosses: LHP Madison Bumgarner (18-10, 2.98) best arm starts … C Buster Posey (22 HRs, 89 RBIs, .311, .854 OPS) faces CF Andrew McCutchen (25 HRs, 83 RBIs, .952 OPS) first time back-to-back MVPs have matched up since Barry Bonds and Giants played Atlanta Braves and Terry Pendleton in 1992 ALCS.
Theme: “Every other year we`re here and we`re not leaving!“
Looking up: SF has roughed up Bucs starter Edison Volquez for a 5.72 lifetime average … Giants have won six consecutive elimination games.
Looking down: Pablo Sandoval 4 RBIs in one of his last 16 games … Angel Pagan won’t play, SF has .615 win % with him, .415 without him … One of four teams to lead by 6 1/2 teams to lead their division and not win (Jays are another).
Retired numbers: Christy Mathewson, John McGraw, Bill Terry (3), Mel Ott (4), Carl Hubbell (11), Monte Irvin (20), Willie Mays (24), Juan Marichal (27), Orlando Cepeda (30), Gaylord Perry (36), Jackie Robinson (42), Willie McCovey (44).
J factor: INF Marco Scutaro, C Guillermo Quiroz.
Canadian content: Part owner Jeff Mallett, of Victoria, B.C. and super scout Raimondo Calari from Montreal.
Canada’s team (ranked by Canadian involvement and fan interest of the 10 post-season clubs): 9th, big support on west coast and in Okotoks, Alta.
Bodog odds to win World Series: No. 12-1.
Team payroll: $71,929,333 (27th)
Octobers: 5 World Series, 9 NL Pennants, 16 post-season appearances.
Post-season record: 49-45.
Last post season: Lost 2013 division series to St. Louis Cardinals.
Manager: Clint Hurdle.
Run differential: 51.
Stud Hosses: 2B Neil Walker (23 HRs, 76 RBIs, .271, .809 OPS).
Theme: “You thought we were one-year wonders last year? We’re back.”
Looking up: 3B Josh Harrison (13 HRs, 52 RBIs, .315, .837 OPS),
Looking down: Only the Cubs and Indians have had longer World Series droughts than the Bucs.
Retired numbers: Billy Meyer 1, Ralph Kiner 4, Willie Stargell 8, Bill Mazeroski 9, Paul Waner 11, Pie Traynor 20, Roberto Clemente 21, Honus Wagner 33, Danny Murtaugh 40, Jackie Robinson 42.
J factor: OF Travis Snider (13 HRs, 38 RBIs, .264, .776 OPS), coach Nick Leyva.
Canadian content: Montreal C Russell Martin (11 HRs, 67 RBIs, .290, .832 OPS), RP John Axford (0-1, 4.09) of Port Dover, Ont.
Canada’s team: No. (ranked by Canadian involvement and fan interest of the 10 post-season clubs): Second with support from all of Quebec and parts of Ontario.
Bodog odds to win World Series: 14-1.
And the winner is: Giants in one.
American League Wild-Card game
Team payroll: $82,320,900 (25th)
Octobers: Four World Series win, six pennants, and 18 playoff appearances.
Post-season record: 37-48.
Last post season: Lost AL division series 3-2 to Detroit.
Run differential: Plus 157.
Stud Hosses: LHP Jon Lester is 6-4 with a 2.11 ERA in 11 post-season starts, including 4-1 last year. 3B Josh Donaldson (29 HRs, 98 RBIs, .255, .798)
Theme: “We also make books and movies.”
Looking up:Brandon Moss (25 HRs, 81 RBIs, .234, .772 OPS).
Looking down: A`s have been shut out since trading Yeonis Cespedes batted .350 (14-for-40) with six RBIs in the 2012-13 playoffs. Rest of the A’s hit .185 (52-for-281) with 18 RBIs and 22 runs scored.
Retired numbers:Reggie Jackson 9, Rickey Henderson 24, Catfish Hunter 27, Rollie Fingers 34, Jackie Robinson 42 and Dennis Eckersley 43.
J factor this season:Jesse Chavez, Brad Mills.
Canadian content: Toronto-born Farhan Zaidi, director of operations, Burlington’s Matt Higginson is the A’s hard-working area scout. Waterloo’s Dick Callahan is the P.A. announcer at O.co Coliseum.
Canada’s team (ranked by Canadian involvement and fan interest of the 10 post-season clubs): No. 10.
Bodog odds to win World Series: 11-1.
Kansas City Royals
Team payroll: $ 92,185,521 (19th)
Octobers: 1 World Series, 2 pennants, 8 post-season appearances.
Post-season record: 18-24.
Last post season: Beat Cardinals in 1985 World Series.
Run differential: Plus 27.
Stud Hosses: RHP James (Big Game) Shields (14-8, 3.21) held Adam Dunn to 7-for-35 (.200) 16 Ks, 1 HR, C Salvador Perez (22 HRs, 85 RBIs, .260, .692 OPS).
Theme: “They were our A`s first. ”
Looking up: DH Billy Butler (32 doubles, nine HRs, 66 RBIs, .702 OPS)
Looking down: No one had 75 RBIs (Alex Gordon led with 74) or 20 homers (Gordon had 19). Last in the AL in HRs and walks.
Retired numbers:George Brett (5), Dick Howser (10), Frank White (20), Jackie Robinson (42).
J factor this season: C Erik Kratz, INF Jayson Nix, RPs Jason Frasor, Scott Downs, Tim Collins, RHP Liam Hendriks.
Canadian content: Cambridge`s Scott Thorman a coach at class-A Burlington.
Canada’s team (ranked by Canadian involvement and fan interest of the 10 post-season clubs): No. 8.
Bodog odds to win World Series: 16-1.