MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Avoiding Game 7 of World Series crucial for Giants

Avoiding Game 7 of World Series crucial for Giants

The Royals go into Game 6 of the World Series today at Kauffman Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET air time on FOX, 8:07 p.m. first pitch) facing elimination.

The Giants hold a 3-2 edge in the best-of-seven Fall Classic.

The Giants, however, are in a seemingly must-win situation, as well. Yes, they have two games to win one.

Or do they?

  Date     Recaps Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24     KC 3, SF 2 video
Gm 4 Oct. 25     SF 11, KC 4 video
Gm 5 Oct. 26     SF 5, KC 0 video
Gm 6 Oct. 28     KC 10, SF 0 video
Gm 7 Oct. 29     SF 3, KC 2 video

Of the 31 times a World Series in the current seven-game format has reached a point where a team up 3-2 goes on the road for the final two games, the visiting team has won 18 times. However, the home team has rallied to win Games 6 and 7 in eight of the last 10 matchups.

In the two exceptions -- the Marlins over the Yankees in 2003 and the Blue Jays over the Braves in 1992 -- the visiting team won Game 6.

Not since 1975, when the Reds beat the Red Sox, has a visiting team managed to win a Game 7 on the road after the home team won Game 6.

The Giants were the visitors who saw a 3-2 edge disappear in 2002. The Angels, in the only previous matchup of Wild Card teams before this year, rallied to win Games 6 and 7 at home to claim the only World Series championship in franchise history. More recently, the Cardinals won Games 6 and 7 at Busch Stadium against the Rangers in 2011.

The Royals pulled off the feat in 1985, the last time they were in the postseason. They rallied to win Games 6 and 7 at home against the Cardinals in a World Series in which the Royals became the first team to rally after losing the first two games of a best-of-seven series at home.

The team with the 3-2 lead had the edge prior to the addition of divisional play in 1969, when the League Championship Series was added to the postseason.

Only four times out of 15 World Series prior to 1969 did a team needing to win the final two games of a seven-game series under the current format claim a World Series championship -- Cardinals against the Red Sox in 1946, Reds against the Tigers in 1940, Pirates against the Senators in 1925, and Senators against the Giants in 1924.

The team on the road had the biggest edge in a 26-year stretch from 1947-72, when the visiting team turned a 3-2 edge into a World Series championship in all 11 occurrences.

In 1945, the Cubs did come within a victory of winning that World Series championship that has eluded the franchise since 1908, winning a Game 6 at home, but losing Game 7. Due to travel restrictions because of World War II, however, that World Series was played under a format in which the first three games were at Briggs Stadium, where the Cubs won two, and the final four were at Wrigley Field, where the Cubs lost three.

ROAD WARRIORS

Since the expansion of the postseason in 1969, with the addition of the LCS, home teams have gained a stronger advantage in the World Series. From 1903-68, the home team won only .514 percent of the World Series games (196-185). Since the addition of the LCS, the home team has won .612 percent of the games (156-99).

The home team has had a losing record in only seven of the 44 World Series since the LCS was added.

ROYAL QUESTION

Can the Royals dominate for two games at Kauffman Stadium? The Royals were 42-39 at home during the regular season, the worst home record of the 10 teams that advanced to the postseason, and tied for 16th among the 30 Major League teams. At the other extreme, the Dodgers were 52-29 at Dodger Stadium, and the Cardinals, Pirates and Nationals were 51-30 at home.

By contrast, the Giants were 43-38 on the road, the third-best road record in the National League, behind the Dodgers (49-32) and Nationals (45-36).

MR. OCTOBER II

Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval has thrived in October.

Two years ago, he became the fifth player in postseason history with 24 hits, one shy of the postseason record of 25 hits shared by Darin Erstad (2002 Angels), David Freese (2011 Cardinals) and Marquis Grissom (1995 Braves).

This year, Sandoval has 22 hits, tied for 11th with nine others, including Derek Jeter, who reached 22 in 1996, 2003 and '09.

Sandoval is one hit shy of tying Steve Garvey (1981 Dodgers) and Grissom (1996 Braves) for the No. 9 spot on the all-time list.

Must C: Panda's Game 4 single

NO KC MASTERPIECE

Giants Game 6 starter Jake Peavy has had his problems at Kauffman Stadium. He is 1-6 with a 6.50 ERA in his career in the ballpark, the highest ERA of any active pitcher who has at least 40 innings of work at Kauffman Stadium. Gavin Floyd is second at 5.84.

Peavy ranks 15th all time. Jim Slaton (8.12) and Sean Lowe (8.10) have the highest all-time ERAs at Kauffman Stadium.

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.