* While there are fresh blood in the fresh faces in the American League Championship Series — Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles — old familiar foes the San Francisco Giants meet the St. Louis Cardinals for the second time in three seasons. …
Letters of Intent
National League Championship Series
(Giants won four of seven meetings)
San Francisco Giants
Team payroll: $149,089,475 (7th)
Octobers: 7 World Series, 22 Pennants, and 25 post-season appearances
Post-season record: 97-88.
Last post season: Swept Detroit in 2012 World Series.
How they got here: Upset the favored Washington Nationals in four games in best-of-five NL Division Series, after beating Pittsburgh Pirates in NL wild-card game.
Manager: Bruce Bochy
Run differential: Plus 51.
Stud Hosses: Starters Madison Bumgarner (7 IP, 2 ER), Tim Hudson (7.1 IP, 1 R), Jake Peavy (5.2 IP, 0 R) and Ryan Vogelsong (5.2 IP, 1 R) held Ian Desmond (3-for-18), Wilson Ramos (2-for-17), Jayson Werth (1-for-17), Denard Span (2-for-19) and Adam LaRoche 1-for-18) to a combined .101 average (9-for-89).
Theme: “Know what happened in 2010? And in 2012? And in 2014?”
Looking up: Brandon Belt hit .268 (5-for-18, HR, 2 RBIs) with a game-winning HR in the 18th in Game 2, .760 OPS against the Nationals, Buster Posey (7-for-18, .389, 1 RBI) .839 OPS, the biggest star remaining in the post season, Hunter Pence .278 (5-for-18, 2 doubles) .705 OPS and Brandon Crawford batted .294 (5-for-17, double, 1 RBI) .669 OPS.
Looking down: Pablo Sandoval batted .211 (4-for-19, 1 RBI) .513 OPS, Travis Ishikawa .182 (2-for-114) and Gregor Blanco hit .111 (4-for-18, 1 RBI) .311 OPS.
Best all-time top five Giants (by the numbers): Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Mel Ott, Christy Mathewson, Amos Rusie.
J factor: INF Marco Scutaro, C Guillermo Quiroz.
Canadian content: Part owner Jeff Mallett, of Victoria, B.C. and scout Raimondo Calari from Montreal.
Canada’s team (ranked by Canadian involvement and fan interest of the 10 post-season clubs): 9th, some support on west coast and from JohnIrcandia, the George Steinbrenner of the prairies in Okotoks, Alta.
Bodog odds total HRs over/under: 4 1/2.
Bodog odds to win World Series: No. 13-5.
St. Louis Cardinals
Team payroll: $71,929,333 (13th)
Octobers: 11 World Series, 19 pennants, 27 playoff appearances.
Post-season record: 117-101.
Last post season: Lost 2013 World Series to Boston Red Sox 4-2.
How they got here: Beat the favored Los Angeles Dodgers in four games in the NL Division Series including coming back late to beat probably Cy Young award winner and possible MVP Clayton Kershaw … twice.
Manager: Mike Matheny.
Run differential: Plus 16.
Stud Hosses: Down 6-2 in Game 1 to Kershaw in the seventh, Matt Holliday, Jhonny Peralta, Yadier Molina, Matt Adams and John Jay each singled and Matt Carpenter doubled … down 2-0 in the seventh of Game 4 to Kershaw, Holliday and Peralta singled and Adams hit a three-run homer.
Theme: “Remember when October used to belong the Yankees?” … The Cards are in post season for the 11th time since 2000.
Looking up: Carpenter batted .374 (6-for-16, 3 doubles, 3 HRs, 7 RBIs) and 1.537 OPS against the Nationals; Jay batted .455 (5-for-11, RBI) 1.026 OPS, Adams hit .250 (3-for-12, HR, 4 RBIs) .900 OPS and Holliday hit .267 (4-for-15, HR, 3 RBIs) .779 OPS.
Looking down: Wong batted .182 (2-for-11, HR, 2 RBIs) .727 OPS, Randal Grichuk batted .188 (3-for-16, HR, RBIs) .610 OPS; Peralta hit .214 (3-for-14) .552 OPS, Molina hit .200 (3-for-15, double) and a .467 OPS.
Best all-time top five Cards (by the numbers): Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Bob Gibson, Albert Pujols, Ozzie Smith.
J factor: Manager Matheny was a back up behind Darrin Fletcher and Jim Fregosi, then changed his swing and won four Gold Gloves with the Giants and the Cards.
Canadian content: Bullpen coach Jamie Pogue from Guelph.
Canada’s team (ranked by Canadian involvement and fan interest of the 10 post-season clubs): No. 6 (The Yankees of the NL except mostly with homegrowns).
Bodog odds total HRs over/under: 4.
Bodog odds to win World Series: 13-5.