World Series Preview: Kansas City Royals vs. New York Mets

By Max Wildstein 10/27/15

 

After the first three rounds of the postseason, there are just two teams left standing. The Kansas City Royals (95-67), the champions of the American League, will face off against the New York Mets (90-72), the champions of the National League. This will be the first Fall Classic that sports two teams from the expansion era and not one single original franchise. The Royals and the Mets both were winners of their respective division crowns, as Kansas City took the American League Central title with New York taking the National League East title. The two sides did not face one another during the regular season.

 

In order to reach the World Series, both squads had to win each of their own division series in five games (Royals over Houston Astros, Mets over Los Angeles Dodgers). However, the two clubs took different routes in each of their own league championship series. The Mets took care of the Chicago Cubs easily with a four-game sweep, but it took six games for the Royals to stifle the hot Toronto Blue Jays offense. This will be the first appearance for the Mets in the World Series since 2000 (against the New York Yankees), but their last title was back in 1986. The Royals will be making their second consecutive trip to the World Series (loss last season against the San Francisco Giants), but their last title was back in 1985.

 

The Royals will have home-field advantage throughout the series. This is due to the American League winning the All-Star game back in July. What that means is that the Royals will host games one, two, six and seven at home at Kauffman Stadium, as the Mets will host games three, four and five at home at Citi Field.

 

Each of the World Series teams had to make acquisitions during the season before the July 31st trade deadline to get to where they are now. Yoenis Cespedes was the big acquision for the Mets a couple minutes before the deadline, as he became the spark club for the entire team, boosting the team into the playoffs. The ability to play many positions has helped the Royals use their acquisition, Ben Zobrist, wisely throughout the second half and in the playoffs.

 

When it comes to pitching staffs, it is obvious who has the upper hand. The young Mets staff is led by Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, followed by rookies Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, while the Royals are made up of veterans Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Yordano Ventura and Chris Young. However, they are pretty hand-in-hand when it comes to bullpens, as the Royals have sported a three-man wrecking crew in Ryan Madson, Kelvin Herrera and the league’s top reliever, Wade Davis. The Mets bullpen is led by none other than Jeurys Familia, who has picked up five saves this postseason, two more than the three that Davis has picked up.

 

The two best players in the LCS for each league were Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar and Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy. Escobar hit .386/.408/.545, along with no home runs, three doubles, two triples, nine runs scored and five runs batted in, in eleven games played. Murphy has had perhaps the best postseason in Major League history, hitting .421/.436/1.026, along with seven home runs and eleven runs batted in. Over his last six games played in the postseason, Murphy has homered in each of them, setting a postseason record with six straight games with a home run.

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