This year’s World Series offers an intriguing matchup between two of the best young ball clubs in baseball featuring the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals.
The Royals are coming off a 95-win season and finished with the best record in the American League. Last season, the Royals made it to the World Series as well, but they lost to the San Francisco Giants in seven games. They will look to bounce back from that as they have home field advantage once again. In the division series, it seemed as if the heavily favored Royals were on the brink of elimination as they were down in the series to the Astros 2-1. Trailing 6-2 in the top of the eighth inning in game four, the Royals stormed back and scored a whopping five runs to take the lead in Houston. They added a couple of insurance runs in the ninth inning thanks to an Eric Hosmer two-run home run and won the ballgame 9-6. In game five, Royals ace Johnny Cueto pitched a dandy, and they got plenty of production from the plate thanks to Kendrys Morales and Alex Rios. The Royals won this game and advanced to the ALCS to face the Toronto Blue Jays. The Royals won the first two games fairly easily as they got great pitching from Edinson Volquez and Yordano Ventura.
The Jays were able to extend this series a bit by winning two of the three games at home to force a game six but fell just short in game six as their bats couldn’t quite get the job done. Mid season acquisition David Price pitched very well giving the Jays six and two thirds innings and only let up three runs. The Jays had a chance in the 9th inning down 4-3 with a man on third and nobody out, but Royals reliever Wade David was able to get out of the jam with no runs and helped the Royals advance to the World Series for the second straight season. It was a magical season for the Blue Jays that fell just short. The Royals look to continue their stretch of playing great baseball and hope to take advantage of their experience from last years World Series and take it into this year.
The Mets, on the other hand, have shocked many people by how impressive they have played throughout the postseason. The Mets have gotten sensational pitching performances from young studs like Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz. The Mets also faced a crucial game five in the division round versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Mets were able to scratch a couple runs off the NL Cy Young favorite Zack Greinke thanks to a clutch go-ahead home run from second basemen Daniel Murphy in the sixth inning to take a 3-2 lead. Jacob deGrom gave the Mets six quality innings and closer Jeurys Familia sealed the deal with two impressive scoreless innings to help the Mets advance to the NLCS with a date against the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs seemed overmatched in this series as they allowed the Mets to score in the first inning in all four games that were played. The Mets made light work of this series and were able to sweep it in four games.
Not only did the Mets get solid pitching from their starters, NLCS MVP Daniel Murphy had an unbelievable series as he homered in every single game. Going back to the previous round, Murphy homered in the last two games of that series, so he became the first player in playoff history to homer in six consecutive playoff games. This is the Mets first World Series appearance since 2000 when they lost to the New York Yankees in five games.
The Mets have only won two World Series titles, which occurred in 1969 and 1986, and the Royals have only won one World Series title in 1985, so both fan bases are very excited to see what is in store for them. Both teams are stacked with young talent with the likes of Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Yoenis Cespedes, and Matt Harvey, so it’s tough to say which team has the clear advantage in this series. The Mets starting pitching is extremely impressive, so they would look to have the edge in the rotation, although the Royals probably have a better, well-rounded lineup and a slightly better bullpen. But sometimes a team gets red hot in the playoffs and they just become very difficult to stop. And that are what the Mets are doing right now, playing their best baseball at the exact time you want to be playing your best baseball.
Ryan Colon can be reached at RC759426@wcupa.edu