Description: According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Chicago Cubs will hire Joe Maddon as their next manager.
Insight: After opting out of his contract with the Rays, it took less than a week for Maddon to find a new gig. The deal is reportedly for five years and is worth $25 million. Current manager Rick Renteria's status is now up in the air, after being named the Cubs' manager last November.
Description: Giants outfielder Juan Perez is starting in left field in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday.
Insight: Manager Bruce Bochy is going with his best lineup with Perez in left rather than Travis Ishikawa. Perez will bat ninth and shortstop Brandon Crawford moves up to bat eighth. The rest of the Giants lineup remains the same.
Description: Giants catcher Buster Posey continues to struggle in the 2014 World Series.
Insight: Posey hit with the bases loaded and one out in the third inning. San Francisco had just allowed Kansas City to score seven runs in the second, so any kind of run would have meant a slight swing in momentum. Instead, Posey grounded into a double play to end the inning. Posey is batting just .190 since the start of the NLCS and doesn't have an extra base hit the entire postseason.
Description: Giants right-hander Yusmeiro Petit allowed his first earned run of the World Series on Tuesday.
Insight: Petit relieved starter Jake Peavy with the bases loaded and one out in the second. It was not an ideal situation for Bruce Bochy to put in Petit. He is a spot starter/long relief guy, so he does much better coming in at the beginning of an inning rather than with runners on base. Petit allowed three hits to the first three batters he faced as five more runs scored, two of which were charged to him.
Description: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar was 2-for-5 with a run and RBI in Game 6 against the Giants.
Insight: Escobar beat out an infield single in the second inning to load the bases. He hit a ground ball to Brandon Belt at first base, but Belt looked the runner back to third base too long and Escobar beat Belt to first. After another hit, Giants starter Jake Peavy was chased from the game. Escobar's other hit was an RBI-double in the fifth.
Description: Giants starter Jake Peavy lasted just 1 1/3 innings in Game 6 versus the Royals.
Insight: Peavy could not get out of the second inning as he allowed five runs on six hits. His downfall came when Alcides Escobar reached on an infield single because first baseman Brandon Belt looked back the runner at third base too long as Escobar beat him to the bag. In the next at-bat, Peavy jumped out 0-2 on Norichika Aoki but failed to put him away. Aoki's single scored another run and was the last batter Peavy faced.
Description: Royals starter Yordano Ventura pitched seven shutout innings in Game 6 of the World Series to help Kansas City force Game 7.
Insight: Ventura seemed extra focus pitching in memory of his late-friend, Oscar Tavares. Ventura wasn't completely sharp as he did walk five batters, but he allowed just three hits. A seven-run second inning certainly helped as well.Game 7 is Wednesday.
Description: Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas will bat eighth in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday.
Insight: It is a slight change as Moustakas batted ninth in most all previous playoff lineups that included the designated hitter. Billy Butler and Nori Aoki will return to their usual spots in the lineup and Omar Infante will bat ninth.
Description: Royals outfielder Norichika Aoki and Billy Butler will return to the starting lineup for Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday.
Insight: Aoki and Butler did not start in Games 3, 4, and 5 which were in San Francisco. Manager Ned Yost wanted a faster outfielder with the biggest area to cover in AT&T Park and played Jarrod Dyson instead of Aoki. Butler sat without the designated hitter in the National League ballpark.
Description: Giants starter Madison Bumgarner will look to help give San Francisco a 3-2 series lead, heading back to Kansas City.
Insight: This is the guy the Giants want on the mound in this pivotal Game 5, as Bumgarner went seven strong innings in Game 1, allowing only one run on three hits, and struck out five. After winning the NLCS MVP Award, Bumgarner will look to earn those honors in the World Series as well.
Description: Royals starter James Shields will look to rebound from a poor Game 1 outing.
Insight: He lasted only three innings in Game 1, and will need to pitch like an ace if Kansas City wants to return home with a lead in the series. Shields will be opposed by Giants go-to guy Madison Bumgarner, so he will need to bring his A-game.
Description: Royals outfielder Norichika Aoki should continue to be out of the lineup, Sunday night against the Giants.
Insight: He has the most experience against San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner, but is 0-for-13 lifetime against him. Jarrod Dyson will most likely be back in the lineup, after going 1-for-3 with a walk in Game 4.
Description: Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco has solid career-numbers in limited action, against Game 5 starter James Shields.
Insight: Blanco is 4-for-7 lifetime off of Shields with a triple and three RBI. He should continue to hit in the leadoff spot, and will have the opportunity to start things off for San Francisco in a pivotal World Series Game 5.
Description: Giants right-hander Yusmeiro Petit was a key to the Giants victory Saturday night with three scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Insight: The Giants bullpen came through with a total of 6 1/3 innings of scoreless ball and the San Francisco offense came to life late. Wasn't it the Royals bullpen that was to be "untouchable" in this series?
Description: Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson is starting in center field and batting eighth, again, in Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday.
Insight: Ned Yost is sticking with the same lineup that won Game 3 in San Francisco on Friday. We would too. The added defense paid huge dividends, and Alex Gordon came through with a huge hit in the No. 2 spot.
Description: Giants manager Bruce Bochy confirmed after the game Friday that Ryan Vogelsong will start Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday.
Insight: Bochy left the door open to start Madison Bumgarner on short rest in Game 4, but he decided after the loss Friday to stick with Vogelsong. Bumgarner will start Game 5. Both are pretty much must-wins for San Francisco in order to avoid falling behind 3-2 with Games 6 and 7 in Kansas City.
Description: Royals second baseman Omar Infante is 7-for-11 in his career against Giants Game 4 starter Ryan Vogelsong.
Insight: Norichika Aoki and Josh Willingham are the only other Royals with at-bats against Vogelsong and neither were in the starting lineup for Game 3. Infante also has two stolen bases with Vogelsong on the mound.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is 3-for-9 in his career against Royals starter Jason Vargas.
Insight: It is a small sample size, but Sandoval has been the most successful Giants hitter versus Vargas. Sandoval was 0-for-4 in Game 3 and snapped his streak of 25 straight games of reaching base in the postseason.
Description: Royals 21-year-old Brandon Finnegan struck out both hitters he faced in the seventh to keep the Giants off the scoreboard.
Insight: Kansas City was clinging to a one-run lead when Ned Yost elected to pull Kelvin Herrera for the lefty Finnegan against two left-handed hitters for the Giants. Finnegan rewarded his manager with two strikeouts. The Royals won, 3-2.
Description: Giants catcher Buster Posey was 0-for-4 with an RBI in Game 3 of the World Series.
Insight: Posey did have an RBI-groundout in the sixth. The Giants were down two at the time with two runners in scoring position and one out, so the catcher was likely hoping for more. San Francisco lost, 3-2, and now trail in the series.
Description: Giants outfielder Michael Morse had a pinch-hit double in the sixth to keep San Francisco in Game 3 of the World Series Friday.
Insight: Morse doubled to left off Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie to score Brandon Crawford from first. The hit chased Guthrie from the game. Morse then scored on a grounder from Buster Posey, three at-bats later. Kansas City, however, held on to win, 3-2.
Description: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs in Game 3 of the World Series Friday.
Insight: Escobar led off the game with a double on the first pitch. He scored on Eric Hosmer's grounder. Then in the sixth, he had a one-out single and scored on Alex Gordon's double. Escobar was the only player with either team with two hits in Game 3. Kansas City won, 3-2, and leads the series, 2-1.
Description: Giants starter Tim Hudson pitched 5 2/3 innings against the Royals in his long awaited World Series debut.
Insight: Hudson allowed three runs on four hits. After he permitted a double and single in the first two innings, he did not allow another hit to the sixth. Unfortunately, it was not enough, and San Francisco trails Kansas City in the World Series, 2-1.
Description: Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie pitched five-plus innings and allowed two runs on four hits in the Game 3 victory over the Giants in the World Series Friday night.
Insight: Guthrie only threw 77 pitches, but Ned Yost went to his bullpen when his starter allowed the first two hitters to reach base in the sixth. Two runs scored in the inning, but Kelvin Herrera did not permit the tying run to score, and Kansas City won, 3-2.
Description: Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson is starting in center field and batting eighth in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday.
Insight: In the big AT&T Park, Royals manager Ned Yost went with his best defensive lineup. Lorenzo Cain moves to right field, and Nori Aoki is on the bench. Alex Gordon will bat second, and Mike Moustakas will hit fifth.
Description: Free agent Victor Martinez is looking for a four-year contract this winter according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Insight: Martinez is 36, but he hit .335/.409/.565 with 32 home runs and 103 RBI in 2014. The Tigers would love to keep him, but they also have other free agent concerns in Max Scherzer and Torri Hunter.
Description: Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright had his ligament "trimmed" in his right elbow according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. UPDATE: St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Wainwright had his cartilage "trimmed", not the ligament in his right elbow.
Insight: General manager John Mozeliak said Wainwright should be able to throw in six weeks, so the procedure would not affect his availability for next season. He likely wasn't going to throw much this offseason anyway, and the Cardinals were already planning to limit Wainwright's work next preseason.
Description: Outfielder Grady Sizemore signed a one-year, $2 million contract to stay with the Phillies.
Insight: The deal also has performance bonuses. The 32-year-old batted .253 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 176 plate appearances with the Phillies last year and will likely remain a part-time player.
Description: Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports the Mets have interest in free agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer.
Insight: Martino says the Mets would like to sign Cuddyer to a two-year deal to add power and a veteran presence to their lineup. Cuddyer only had 190 at-bats this past season, but he hit 20 home runs and 84 RBI in 2013. Of course, that was in Coors Field and not Citi Field.
Description: Blue Jays left fielder Melky Cabrera has begun contract negotiations with the Toronto front office according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Insight: Heyman expects the Blue Jays to offer "at least a three-year deal". Cabrera batted .301/.351/.458 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI in 139 games this season. If the two sides do not come to terms, Toronto can make a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer, so the team earns a draft pick if he signs somewhere else.
Description: Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Friday the team is discussing the possibility to start Madison Bumgarner in Game 4 of the World Series on short rest according to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
Insight: If the Giants win Game 3 then it seems unlikely Bochy will use his ace for Game 4 on short rest, but if the Giants lose, it is on the table. Bumgarner would also be available to start Game 7 on short rest if he starts Game 4. Right now, Ryan Vogelsong is slated to start Game 4.
Description: Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum left Wednesday's Game 2 of the World Series with an undisclosed injury.
Insight: Lincecum looked uncomfortable on a 2-2 pitch to Salvador Perez in the bottom of the eighth. The trainer came out to the mound immediately, and Lincecum exited the game. Lincecum looked good as he retired the five batters he faced in his first appearance this postseason.
Description: The Indians are expected to exercise their 2015 option on Mike Aviles according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Insight: Indians general manager Chris Antonetti was undecided about Aviles' $3.5 million option a few weeks ago, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports Antonetti is leaning towards bringing him back. Aviles hit .247 and played six different positions in 2014.
Description: The Tigers are expected to exercise their $7 million option to keep Joakim Soria in 2015 according to MLB.com.
Insight: Soria did not at all live up to his hype when the Tigers traded for him in July. He posted a 4.91 ERA over 11 innings and pitched ever worse in the postseason. Detroit will have five days after the end of the World Series to make an official decision on Soria.
Description: Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter indicated Wednesday he is leaning towards playing again in 2015 according to MLive.com.
Insight: The 39-year-old seemed to be leaning towards retirement after the the Orioles swept the Tigers in the ALDS, but he is now leaning the other way. Hunter has not made his final decision. He is a free agent, but we expect him to stay in Detroit if he wants to play.
Description: Royals starter Yordano Ventura heads into Game 2 pitching somewhat inconsistently during the postseason.
Insight: He has pitched in three games during the 2014 Playoffs, and Kansas City has won each game Venura has thrown in. However, during his two starts, Ventura has had one good outing, and one subpar outing. During the ALDS he went seven strong innings, allowing only one run on five hits and one walk, while striking out five. Ventura's start in Game 2 of the ALCS was not as good, as he went 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out three. Overall he is 0-0 with a 4.85 ERA, over 13.0 innings of work.
Description: Giants starter Jake Peavy will take the mound for Game 2 of the World Series, as he looks to continue his solid play.
Insight: He has started two games thus far, in the postseason, and is 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA and 1.24 WHIP, over 9 2/3 innings of work. Peavy's victory over the Nationals in the NLDS was his first ever postseason win.
Description: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar could be line for a big Game 2 against Giants starter Jake Peavy.
Insight: He is 9-for-22 (.409 BA) lifetime against Peavy, with two homers, one triple, and eight RBI. Escobar has also stolen two bases against San Francisco's Game 2 starter. If you are still doing daily fantasy baseball, Escobar is a great option on Wednesday night.
Description: Royals left fielder Alex Gordon is a career .357 hitter (10-for-28) against San Francisco's Game 2 starter, Jake Peavy.
Insight: Three of those hits are extra-base hits, including one home run. Gordon also has five RBI against Peavy during his career, and the Royals could use all the help they can get after getting completely dominated in Game 1 of the Fall Classic.
Description: Royals 1B/DH Billy Butler has great career-numbers against Giants pitcher Jake Jeavy.
Insight: He is a lifetime .424 hitter (14-for-33) against Peavy, with three home runs and eight RBI. If Kansas City wants to even the series, Butler may be the guy to help kickstart them in Game 2, on Wednesday night.
Description: Royals starter James Shields lasted only three innings of Game 1 of the World Series.
Insight: He gave up three runs right away in the first inning, and just could not get ahead of hitters. Shields allowed five runs, on seven hits and one walk, and had only one strikeout. He will start a potential Game 5.
Description: Phillies re-sign pitcher Jerome Williams to a one-year deal.
Insight: The contract is worth $2.5 million, but can get up to $4 million based on performance incentives. Williams posted a surprising 2.83 ERA in 57 1/3 innings of work, but should npt be expected to have repeated success, thus making him an irrelevant fantasy player.
Description: Giants starter Jake Peavy will be on the hill in Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday against the Royals.
Insight: Peavy followed his Game 2 NLDS gem with a disappointing Game 2 start in the NLCS. Peavy will start in Kansas City on Wednesday. He has never made it out of the sixth inning in his seven postseason starts.
Description: Royals starter James Shields will start Game 1 of the World Series.
Insight: Manager Ned Yost made the announcement on Saturday, and it should come as no surprise. Yordano Ventura will get the nod in Game 2, and will likely be followed by Jason Vargas and Jeremy Guthrie.
Description: cardinals catcher Tony Cruz will start for Game 5 of the NLCS.
Insight: A.J. Pierzynski started in Game 4, but Cruz is back behind the plate in St. Louis' do-or-die game. One other change to the lineup is Jhonny Peralta and Matt Adams have been swapped in the lineup, with Peralta batting cleanup and Adams hitting in the five-hole.
Description: Royals closer Greg Holland selaed the deal for Kansas City in Game 4 of the ALCS.
Insight: He saved all four games of the series, and has six saves throughout the entire postseason. Kansas City's biggest strength is their bullpen, and they head into the World Series, yet to lose a game in the playoffs.
Description: Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez pitched well but took the loss in Game 4 of the ALCS.
Insight: He gave up only two runs (one earned) in the first inning, but it was enough for the Royals to advance to the World Series. Gonzalez went 5 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and four walks, while striking out four. He will be a pitcher to target late in drafts in 2015.
Description: Delmon Young will start at designated hitter in Game 4 of the ALCS against the Royals on Wednesday.
Insight: That's assuming one counts the DH as starting. Baltimore manager Buck Showalter obviously wants to shake things up a bit and put his best lineup on the field. Nelson Cruz is in left field and Steve Pearce will bat second. Alejandro De Aza begins the game on the bench.
Description: Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer is batting clean up in Game 4 of the ALCS against the Orioles on Wednesday.
Insight: With the Royals on the verge of its first World Series trip in nearly 30 years, manager Ned Yost is not changing a thing. He is sticking with the exact same lineup that has won the first seven playoff games this postseason.
Description: Giants outfielders Hunter Pence and Travis Ishikawa have home runs in their careers against Cardinals starter Shelby Miller.
Insight: Neither have very many at-bats versus Miller, but both have gone deep. Pence is 1-for-5 and Ishikawa is 1-for-2 against the Cardinals Game 4 starter. The two outfielders accounted for all the RBI on Tuesday in Game 3.
Description: Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is just 2-for-27 (.185) against Royals starter Jason Vargas.
Insight: Jones has struggled this postseason, hitting just .200 (5-for-25) with one home run and three RBI. Two of those five hits, including the home run, came in Game 2 of the ALCS. Jones had a bad matchup on Tuesday versus Jeremy Guthrie and went 0-for-4. He has another bad matchup in Vargas, so avoid Jones again.
Description: Orioles left fielder Nelson Cruz is 10-for-30 (.333) in his career against Royals starter Jason Vargas.
Insight: Cruz has four home runs, two doubles and eight RBI versus Vargas. Despite going 0-for-4 on Tuesday in Game 3, Cruz is hitting .400/.423/.680 with two home runs and seven RBI this postseason. Before Tuesday, Cruz had two hits in every playoff game.
Description: In the Royals lineup, catcher Salvador Perez has had the most success against Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez.
Insight: No one on the Royals has more than 10 at-bats against Gonzalez in their career, but in a small sample size, Perez is 4-for-9 with a home run. Outfielder Norichika Aoki is 1-for-3 versus Gonzalez, however, everyone else that has faced him is hitting below .200.
Description: CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports the Rangers will decline right fielder Alex Rios' $13.5 million option for 2015.
Insight: This was expected. Rios will receive $1 million in a buyout and become a free agent. Rios hit .280/.311/.398 with four home runs in 131 games this year. He missed most of September with a thumb injury.
Description: Royals closer Greg Holland made quick work of the Orioles in the top of the ninth in Game 3 of the ALCS for his third save of the playoffs.
Insight: It took Holland just six pitches to put the Orioles down in order. It was even more impressive given the fact Holland faced Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz and Steve Pierce. The perfect ninth just put a exclamation point on a superb performance from the Royals pitching staff. Kansas City retired the last 17 batters of the game and did not allow a hit after the third inning.
Description: Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie pitched five strong innings, allowing one run on three hits in the Game 3 victory over the Orioles.
Insight: Two of the three hits Guthrie allowed came in the second, and Baltimore scored on J.J. Hardy's double. Nick Markakis led off the third with a single and that was the final Orioles hit of the game. Kansas City is one win away from its first World Series appearance in three decades.
Description: Orioles starter Wei-Yen Chen pitched well in Game 3 of the ALCS but with a lack of run support, it was not enough as the Orioles fell, 2-1, against the Royals.
Insight: Chen went 5 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on seven hits, struck out four and walked one. Baltimore was able to get its first lead of the series, but with only three hits, the Orioles could not tack on. Kansas City leads the series, 3-0, with Game 4 on Wednesday.
Description: Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy had the lone Orioles RBI in Game 3 of the ALCS on a double in the second inning to drive in Steve Pierce.
Insight: The Orioles finally jumped out to a lead against the Royals, but Kansas City tied the game in the fourth. Baltimore lost, 2-1. Hardy and the Orioles will have to become the second team in baseball history to comeback from a 3-0 series deficit in order to reach the World Series.
Description: Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras admitted Tuesday that he has "gained a few pounds" according to MLBlogs.com.
Insight: Sources have speculated Taveras has gained close to 20 pounds since undergoing ankle surgery last August. General manager John Mozeliak said he hopes the fact Taveras is not starting in the playoffs is a wake up call for him. The team plans to give the outfielder a conditioning plan for the offseason.
Description: Cardinals starter John Lackey had a rocky start to Game 3 of the NLCS, giving up four runs in the first, but settled down to keep St. Louis in the game.
Insight: Lackey allowed the Giants to rally with two outs in the bottom of the first. Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval singled, Hunter Pence doubled to score Posey, and Brandon Belt walked to load the bases. Travis Ishikawa then hit a double to right field to clear the bases. Lackey allowed just one hit over the next five innings. The Cardinals rally, however, fell short in extra innings.
Description: Giants starter Tim Hudson pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, struck out five and walked none in Game 3 of the NLCS.
Insight: Manager Bruce Bochy made his first big playoff mistake in a long time when he left Hudson in for a seventh inning. The Giants jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first, and the Cardinals slowed chipped away at the lead. In the seventh with a one-run lead, Bochy left Hudson in the game to face the bottom of the Cardinals order. Eight hitter Randal Grichuk hit a solo home run to tie the game. Despite the blown lead, San Francisco won, 5-4, in the 10th.
Description: Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong continued his playoff hot streak as he went 2-for-4 with two RBI in Game 3 of the NLCS.
Insight: Wong followed up his walk off home run from Sunday night with a double and triple on Tuesday. He hit the double in the second with two outs and did not advance. Then in the fourth, he hit a two-RBI triple for the Cardinals first two runs of the game. St. Louis rallied to tie, but San Francisco won, 5-4, in the 10th.