World Series Preview: Mets vs. Royals

On Tuesday night, at 8pm Eastern, the New York Mets are set to face off against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Game One of the 2015 World Series. While the Royals are returning to the World Series for the second year in a row, I can’t remember many people who picked either the Royals or Mets to even make the playoffs, let alone get all the way to the World Series. If this year’s playoffs have been any indication, this year’s World Series should be a classic.

Despite many picking any other team in the AL Central to make it to the playoffs, the Royals were able to win the AL Central Crown and return to the World Series for the second straight year after a heartbreaking loss to the San Francisco Giants in Game 7 in 2014. For the Mets, it is even more of a surprise to find them in the playoffs let alone the World Series. It seems nearly 99% of those who made preseason picks picked the Washington Nationals to win the National League East. A good portion of those picks had the Nationals winning it all.

The Royals make it back to the World Series on the back of strong starting pitching, timely hitting and a dominating bullpen. For the Mets it is actually a similar story, with even more dominant starting pitching, albeit with a slightly less consistent bullpen. Both teams have relied heavily on pitching in the first two rounds of the postseason but have also benefited greatly from timely hitting.

Starters:

Game 1: NYM: Matt Harvey vs. KC: Edinson Volquez

Game 2: NYM: Jacob deGrom vs. KC: Johnny Cueto

Game 3: KC: Yordano Ventura vs. NYM: Noah Syndergaard

Game 4: KC: Chris Young vs. NYM: Steven Matz

Game 5: KC: TBD vs. NYM: TBD

Game 6: NYM: TBD vs. KC: TBD

Game 7: NYM: TBD vs. KC: TBD

With relatively evenly matched pitching staffs, when taking into account the advantages the Royals have in the bullpen and the advantages the Mets have in the starting staff, this series will likely come down to hitting, and more specifically, which team can have the most timely hitting. The Mets hit just enough to get by the strong pitching staffs of both the Cardinals and Cubs, and will look to do the same. The Royals were able to shut down the Astros and Blue Jays high powered offenses enough to edge them with timely hitting. This series will come down to that same scenario.

On paper both teams are seemingly evenly matched in terms of both pitching and hitting. As stated above this series will likely come down to which offense can produce the most runs against strong pitching. Based on past results, it seems the Mets have too much power pitching for the Royals to overcome. The Royals may have arguably the best bullpen in baseball but the Mets bullpen is no slouch either. The Mets will score enough runs and will count on strong pitching from their big four. Mets will win the series in seven.

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