Keys To Hoisting the Trophy: Kansas City Royals

3. Johnny Cueto must pitch like it’s 2014, or at least the start of 2015.

The Royals gave up three promising pitching prospects at the trade deadline to get Johnny Cueto. He has since underwhelmed, and has been a downright disappointment in the postseason. Cueto has almost as many earned runs as innings pitched, (14 to 16) for an ugly ERA of 7.87.

If the Royals want to stay in this series at all, Cueto has to revert back to the form he was in to start the season, when he went 7-6 with a 2.68 ERA as a member of the Reds. If Cueto continues to falter however, that will put more strain on the bullpen as the innings pile up, and it will also allow Mets hitters to get more looks than usual at Royals bullpen core four.

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