The Royals will be making their 4th overall and 2nd consecutive appearance in the World Series (lost to the Giants in 2014) after defeating the Houston Astros in 5 games in the ALDS and defeating the Toronto Blue Jays in 6 games in the ALCS. This appearance makes the Royals the first team since the Texas Rangers in 2010 and 2011 to play in consecutive World Series, the Rangers lost both times, in 2010 to the Giants and in 2011 to the Cardinals. The last time the Royals won the World Series was in 1985 when they defeated the Cardinals in 7 games. And while we do not get a rematch of that series which was seen as a real possibility at the start of the postseason considering the Cardinals won 100 games and finished with the best regular season record in baseball and the Royals finished with the 4th best record in baseball and the best in the American League at 95-67, we do get to see this Royals team go up against some of the best young pitchers in the game.
The Mets will be making their 5th overall appearance and their 1st appearance since 2000 in the World Series. It will also be the first World Series they will have played at Citi Field which opened in 2009. They reached this point by defeating the Dodgers in 5 game in the NLDS and by sweeping the Cubs in the NLCS, behind stellar starting pitching and the now legendary Daniel Murphy. While the Royals are 1 and 3 (1985) in World Series appearances the Mets are 2 and 2, defeating the Red Sox in 1986 and the Orioles in 1969, but like the Royals they also lost their most recent appearance, 2000 loss to the Yankees.
I am going to stick with my preseason prediction and say the Royals win this series but instead of the 7 games I said they would defeat the Nationals in and then the 7 games I said they would defeat the Cubs in I am going to say that they defeat the Mets in 6 games and bring a title back to Kansas City for the first time since 1985. I am also going to stick with my original World Series MVP prediction of Eric Hosmer.
What has to happen for either team to win:
- If the Royals want to bring a title back to Kansas City they need the most questionable part of their team, their starting position to step up and do their part. The bullpen will always be there for them but if their starters can go at least 6 innings in each of their starts and keep it close it would leave the Royals in very good shape.
- If the Mets want to bring a title back to Queens they need their starters to continue to pitch and be absolutely dominate like they have been throughout the playoffs because they are at a immense disadvantage late in games, with the exception of Jeurys Familia. But Familia can't and won't pitch the 8th and 9th inning of every game so some of other members of their bullpen, such as Tyler Clippard and Addison Reed to step up and pitch like the closers they have been in the past.
- If Daniel Murphy plays like he has been the series swings in the Mets favor
- Murphy hit a career high 14 HRs this season in 130 games, he has seven this postseason in 9 games. If he had hit HRs at this rate across 499 regular season ABs he would have hit about 91.92 HRs.
- He has homered in 7 postseason games and 6 straight games in the 2015 postseason.
- Only Barry Bonds has more in a single postseason with 8 games in 2002
- No one has homered in more consecutive games
- Only 3 players hit more than 7 HRs in a single postseason (Murphy is at 39 plate appearances so far in the 2015 postseason)
- Nelson Cruz 8 HRs in the 2011 postseason - 70 plate appearances
- Carlos Beltran 8 HRs in the 2004 postseason - 56 plate appearances
- Barry Bonds 8 HRs in the 2002 postseason - 74 plate appearances
- The Royals
- They struck out at the lowest rate in baseball by a large margin in 2015 at 15.9%
- Their batters hit .269 which was tied for 2nd best in baseball
- Royals' pitchers generated strikeouts 19.0% of the time in 2015, which ranked 23rd
- The best bullpen in terms of batting average allowed at .211
- Best contact rate in baseball at 82.0%
- 3498 pitches thrown over 95 MPH
- 1464 pitches thrown over 95 MPH by their 4 World Series starters
- 492 pitches thrown over 95 MPH so far this postseason (11 games)
- 286 (58.13%) thrown by their 4 World Series starters
- The Mets
- They struck out at a rate of 21.0% in 2015, which ranked 18th
- Their batters hit .244 which was tied for 2nd to last and only .001 better than the 30th ranked Padres
- Mets' pitchers generated strikeouts 22.1% of the time in 2015, which ranked 8th
- The Mets bullpen ranked 5th with a batting average allowed of .230
- 10th best contact rate in baseball at 80.2%
- 4948 pitches thrown over 95 MPH in the regular season
- 3663 pitches thrown over 95 MPH by their 4 World Series starters
- 470 pitches thrown over 95 MPH so far this postseason (9 games)
- 387 (82.34%) thrown by their 4 World Series starters
World Series Schedule:
Tuesday, October 27