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The San Francisco Giants evened the 2014 World Series at two games apiece Saturday, as the National League champions scored seven unanswered runs to defeat the Kansas City Royals 11-4 in Game 4.

The Royals are two wins away from their first World Series title since 1985, while the Giants are nearing their third title in the past five years.

Ace Madison Bumgarner will take the mound for the Giants in Game 5 on Sunday night, while James Shields will attempt to right the ship after a poor showing in Game 1.

Predicting who will shine in the World Series, or the playoffs in general, is always tricky, and oftentimes, it's the players you least expect who come up with the key hit. That said, what follows is an effort to handicap the odds for World Series MVP honors based on players' performances to this point in the series as well as their potential impacts in the remaining games.

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The offseason has already begun for every team but the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants, and once the World Series is over, teams will begin to address their biggest needs through trades and/or free-agent signings.

Right now, though, every club is busily putting together its offseason to-do list, identifying players who could be good fits in their organization as well as those who could be problematic, for one reason or another, down the road.

However, putting together a to-do list and executing the moves are two entirely different practices—practices that have the potential to separate great teams from good ones.

With that being said, here are all 30 MLB team’s biggest roadblock to a successful offseason.

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If you love prospects, then it doesn’t get any better than the Arizona Fall League.

With six teams comprised of players from all 30 organizations, the prestigious AFL offers top prospects an opportunity to refine their skills long after the end of the minor league season.

For some players, the competition in the AFL is superior to anything they’ve previously experienced as a professional. For others, it’s a chance to prove to their organization that they’re ready to be challenged at the highest level.

But playing in the AFL after a full minor league season is easier said than done, which is why every year there’s a contingent of big-name prospects who put up disappointing numbers.

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With the 2014 Major League Baseball season coming to an end, all 30 teams will soon direct their focus toward the free-agent market.

Even though this year’s class features top-tier pitchers such as Max Scherzer, Jon Lester and James Shields, as well as a few middle-of-the-order hitters such as Hanley Ramirez, Victor Martinez and Pablo Sandoval, organizations may be more interested in what the international market has to offer.

As of now, Yasmani Tomas is expected to be the most coveted player. Teams have flocked to see the Cuban outfielder in various showcase events over the last two months. However, he is only one of numerous international players who are capable of making an impact in the major leagues as early as the 2015 season.

Here’s an early look at a few of this year’s top international free agents along with their potential suitors, as well as one player who could soon hit the market.

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The Kansas City Royals’ streak of eight consecutive wins to begin the postseason came to an end Tuesday night, as the American League champions dropped Game 1 of the World Series to the San Francisco Giants 7-1.

The Giants stars stole Kansas City’s postseason thunder in front of a electric crowd at Kauffman Stadium, as ace Madison Bumgarner turned in seven strong innings while Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval supported his cause at the dish.

Unfortunately, the Royals’ dynamic lineup and pitching staff didn’t shine as brightly in Game 1 of the Fall Classic as they did in previous series; starter James Shields' struggles continued, as he was chased from arguably the most important start of his career after just three-plus innings, while the Royals offense combined for only four hits in 30 trips to the plate.

With Game 1 out of the way, it’s now time to break down and rank both teams’ top talents on display this October based on regular-season and postseason performances, as opposed to potential postseason impact or long-term potential in the major leagues.

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You can’t predict baseball, they say. Yet, when it comes to the postseason, that’s exactly what we attempt to do, using any relevant statistic, trend or storyline to contextualize individual performances and head-to-head matchups.

After all, with 162 regular-season games and three playoff series in the books, it’s not as though there’s a shortage of information.

With the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants set to square off in the World Series starting Tuesday night, it’s time to take an in-depth look at some of the statistics that define the two teams.

Here are 10 crucial stats that could project the 2014 World Series winner.

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The 2014 World Series is yet to begin, but it's already rich with storylines.

On Tuesday night, the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants, the wild-card winners from each league, will take the field at Kauffman Stadium for Game 1 of the World Series.

The Kansas City Royals have already established a record with eight consecutive wins to begin the postseason, as they defeated the Oakland A's in the AL Wild Card Game, swept the Los Angeles Angels in three games in the ALDS and then knocked off the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS with a four-game sweep. Now, with four more wins, the team can capture its first World Series title since 1985.

Meanwhile, the Giants seek a third World Series title in the past five years under manager Bruce Bochy, as the team clinched a berth in the Fall Classic with Travis Ishikawa's dramatic, three-run walk-off home run against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLCS.

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Travis Ishikawa became a postseason hero on Thursday with his walk-off home run against the Cardinals in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the first baseman-turned-left fielder’s three-run blast clinched the NL pennant for the San Francisco Giants, sending the team to its third World Series appearance in the last five years.

Ishikawa’s historic shot also put him elite company, as he became just the ninth player in postseason history to clinch a series with a home run.

So join us in a trip down memory lane as we look back at the greatest series-clinching home runs in playoff history, presented chronologically.

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The San Francisco Giants are World Series-bound for the third time in the last five years after knocking off the St. Louis Cardinals in five games to clinch the National League Championship Series.

The Giants will now meet the upstart Kansas City Royals in the Fall Classic in a battle of each league’s Wild Card winners. The Royals have yet to lose a game this October, completing respective sweeps of the Angels and Orioles in the American League Division Series and American League Championship Series, and continue to fire on all cylinders on both sides of the ball.

From Madison Bumgarner’s dominance on the mound in each series to Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas’ power surge to Buster Posey’s knack for driving in runs to Greg Holland shutting the door in the ninth innings, the Giants and Royals both have had players thrive in the postseason spotlight.

However, both teams also have guys that have underperformed this October—guys that, with a stronger and more consistent showing, could help their respective clubs win the World Series.

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The St. Louis Cardinals’ World Series aspirations were dashed Thursday with one swing of the bat, as Travis Ishikawa’s three-run, walk-off home run in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series propelled the San Francisco Giants to a 6-3 win and, more importantly, another trip to the Fall Classic.

Ishikawa’s Game 5 home run marked the second time in the series the Giants won in their final at-bat, and the National League Wild Card champions will now try to win their third World Series title in the last five years.

For the Cardinals, it was another disappointing exit from the playoffs—one which arguably could have been avoided or at least delayed if skipper Mike Matheny hadn’t repeatedly mismanaged the bullpen.

Matheny’s tenuous feel for his relievers was on full display throughout the NLCS, but his decision to put in Michael Wacha—last year’s NLCS MVP who hadn’t pitched since Sept. 26—to start the ninth inning of a tied, win-or-go-home playoff game was the icing on the cake.