World Series Game 5: Kansas City Royals at San Francisco Giants

Date/Time: October 26, 8:07 p.m. ET


MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook

Probable Starters: KC: James Shields (0-1, 15.00) v. SF: Madison Bumgarner (1-0, 1.29)

Moneyline: San Francisco -154

Total: 6.5

The Game 1 starters will return to the mound on Sunday night for Game 5 of the World Series. The San Francisco Giants are in a difficult spot because they are tied with the Kansas City Royals and the series goes back to Kauffman Stadium for Games 6 and 7, if necessary, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The team with a 3-2 lead has a series record of 67-29 all-time. The team that began the series at home is 36-10, while the team that started on the road is 31-19. Nineteen teams have come back from 3-2 deficits to win the World Series, but 41 have finished the job. A team that heads home with a 3-2 series lead is 21-6 all-time.

“Big Game” James Shields was once again anything but a big game pitcher to start the World Series. Shields is 1-1 with a 7.11 ERA in the 2014 postseason with just one quality start to his name. In Game 1 of the World Series, he gave up five runs on seven hits in three innings of work. He struck out only one batter and threw 40 strikes and 31 balls. He clearly wasn’t sharp and has not been all postseason. Over 53.1 career postseason innings, Shields has a 5.74 ERA. It’s fair to wonder if eight straight seasons with 203 or more innings pitched has caught up with Shields this postseason and in past postseasons.

While Shields has struggled as his team’s ace, Madison Bumgarner has been spectacular. In five starts this postseason covering 38.2 innings, Bumgarner is 4-1 with a 1.40 ERA. He allowed just one run and scattered three hits in Game 1 of the World Series. He looked dominant, just like he has in most of his postseason starts. He has thrown 69 percent strikes during the playoffs and has 33 strikeouts in 38.2 innings. Bumgarner was 18-10 during the regular season with a 2.98 ERA. He’s making his sixth start of the postseason, but none of them have come on short rest.

Shields is facing the Giants for the third time in his career and the third time this season. He threw a complete game shutout against them during the regular season, but allowed five runs on seven hits in three innings earlier in the season. The Royals were 21-13 in Shields’s 34 regular season starts and they are 3-1 in his four playoff starts, even though he has struggled.

Bumgarner gave up four runs over eight innings against the Royals during the regular season and, like Shields, he will be facing them for the third time in his career. He was terrific in Game 1 of the World Series with just one run allowed on three hits. The Giants were 20-13 in his 33 regular season starts and they are 4-1 in his five postseason starts.

Free MLB Pick: San Francisco Giants

It’s hard to pay a price like this in the World Series where the games tend to be close, but there’s no debating what Madison Bumgarner and James Shields have done in the postseason to date. Bumgarner has been dominant and he’s a very effective pitcher in his home park. Shields has all the pressure in the world on him right now and that’s going to make a tough job even more difficult.