* The Kansas City Royals, managed by Ned Yost, left, meet the Baltimore Orioles for the first time in the postseason, which is a tad odd since the Royals were in the postseason every year but three from 1965-1976 and the Baltimore Orioles made it seven times between 1969 and 1983.
American League Championship Series
(Royals won four of seven meetings this year)
Kansas City Royals
Team payroll: $92,185,521 (19th)
Octobers: 1 World Series, 2 pennants, 8 post-season appearances.
Post-season record: 22-24.
Last post season: Beat Cardinals in 1985 World Series.
How they got here: Swept the Angels in the best-of-five division series … after beating the Oakland A’s 9-8 in 12 in the AL wild card despite trailing 7-3 against Jon Lester.
Manager: Ned Yost.
Run differential: Plus 27.
Stud Hosses: Starters James Shields, Jason Vargas and Yordano Ventura, who all worked six or more innings and the KC bullpen combined to limit Howie Kendrick (2-for-13), Albert Pujols (2-for-12), David Freese (1-for-8), Chris Iannetta (1-for-10), Mike Trout (1-for-11) and Josh Hamilton (0-for-13) to a combined ,104 (7-for-67) mark.
Theme: “Watch the Missouri Track Club run — 12 steals in four post-season bases.”
Looking up:Eric Hosmer hit .400 (4-for-10 with double, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs) against the Angels with 1.638 OPS, Mike Moustakas batted .273 (3-for-11, 2 HRs, 2 RBIs) .818 OPS and Alex Gordon was .300 (3-for-10, 2 doubles, 4 RBIs) with .962 OPS. Both Moustakas and Hosmer hit extra-inning, game-winning homers.
J factor this season: RPs Jason Frasor (647 regular season appearances and he gets the win in his first post-season appearance), C Erik Kratz and RP Tim Collins on the roster and coach Don Wakamatsu, plus INF Jayson Nix, RP Scott Downs, RHP Liam Hendriks, .
Canadian content: Cambridge`s Scott Thorman coach at class-A Burlington and will manage rookie-ball next season
Canada’s team (ranked by Canadian involvement and fan interest of the 10 post-season clubs): No. 8 ,,, underdogs for a third time and people love underdogs.
Bodog odds total HRs over/under: 3 1/2
Bodog odds to win World Series: 13-4.
Team payroll: $107,466,653 (15th).
Octobers: 3 World Series, 6 pennants, 12 post-season appearances
Post-season record: 44-38.
Last post season: Lost 2012 AL division series to New York Yankees.
Manager: Buck Showalter.
Run differential: 112.
Stud Hosses: DH Nelson Cruz went off against the Tigers Cy Young award-winning staff hitting .500 (6-for-12, two HRs, 5 RBIs) with a 1.500 OPS, Alejandro De Aza hit .375 (3-for-8, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs) and a 1.069 OPS and J.J. Hardy batted .300 (3-for-10, HR, 2 RBIs) and 1.017 OPS.
Theme: “If we win do we play the Yankees, the Red Sox or face Marcus Stroman?”
Looking up: RHP Bud Norris pitched six scoreless in his Game 3 start against Detroit, RHP Chris Tillman allowed two runs in five innings to win Game 1, RP Kevin Gausman stopped the Tigers attack (one run in 3 2/3 innings) so the O’s could rally in Game 2 and RP Andrew Miller worked 3 1/3 hitless innings.
Canadian content: Oakville’s Tyler Moe, Canadian scout.
Canada’s team (ranked by Canadian involvement and interest of the 10 post-season clubs): No. 5 … AL East, people respect the way they played and were managed this season.
Bodog odds total HRs over/under: 6 1/2
Bodog odds to win World Series: the favorite at 11-5.
And the winner is …. Orioles in six.