1cc895c71fac7c30d67f6f957a52b658_crop_north
Koji Sasahara/Associated Press

With the 2014 Major League Baseball season set to end Wednesday night with Game 7 of the World Series, 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.

But which teams are most likely to make a run at this year's top international talents?

D83bf6f71535ffc7941a4659879b24d0_crop_north
Getty Images

In a postseason that has been nothing less than spectacular, it’s only appropriate that it all comes down to Game 7 of the World Series.

Two days after being shut out by Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants in Game 5 of the Fall Classic, the Kansas City Royals turned the tables on the National League champions in Game 6 with a 10-0 rout at Kauffman Stadium, knotting the series at three games apiece.

Now, the Royals and the Giants will play one final contest to determine baseball’s best team.

Game 7's pitching matchup will be the same as Game 3's, with Jeremy Guthrie starting for the Royals and Tim Hudson taking the mound for the Giants. However, with both teams featuring numerous well-rested arms in their respective bullpens, there’s a realistic chance neither starter is around for long in the winner-take-all game.

0eee585a264823ec1a54242835f20ea2_crop_north
Getty Images

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 that put up disappointing numbers.

20104ec1a97b828eeab7d14c0bf557d0_crop_north
Rob Carr/Getty Images

It's win-or-go-home time for the Kansas City Royals.

After losing 5-0 to Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants in Game 5 of the World Series, the Royals find themselves in a 3-2 hole heading into a must-win Game 6 on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

But this is familiar territory for the American League champions. In the Wild Card Game against the Oakland A's, the Royals rallied for four runs after the seventh inning to force extra innings, tying it once more in the 12th before Salvador Perez's walk-off hit in the following inning. That being said, the Royals will have to beat the Giants in back-to-back games to claim their first World Series title in 29 years.

The Giants, meanwhile, have an opportunity to win their third World Series in the past five years and further solidify the franchise as a dynasty. Unfortunately, the team likely will be without Bumgarner the rest of the way, at least not in a starting role, though San Francisco will still have veteran right-handers Jake Peavy and Tim Hudson on the mound in Games 6 and 7, respectively.

D16c44a294158c5910e61e74d09a91c6_crop_north
Getty Images

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.

370ea6544719a8511cc45b96b7a6ec55_crop_north
AP Images

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.

Hi-res-7e36a200a6aa0b3633c5f3e8d6a5e3d9_crop_north
Elsa/Getty Images

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.

7affd1ffcdd8a7962d1cd8487c45d892_crop_north
Koji Sasahara/Associated Press

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.

Ffbfea5816b7ff17f8cc748b9f7977fd_crop_north
USA Today

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.

Hi-res-e7a8e71d9a4ec4352ce55bb84795b917_crop_north
Rob Carr/Getty Images

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.