The teams for the Major League Baseball World Series have been set, and both teams had an interesting road to get there. The Kansas City Royals were discounted a lot all year simply because they didn’t have much star power on their team. Yes, they went to the World Series (and lost) last year, but that was considered a fluke by many. Going two years in a row cannot be thought of as a fluke, and perhaps that’s what surprises so many people about this team. They are really good despite not having a huge name player.
The Mets are an even bigger surprise. The Mets had a great season, but it was a rollercoaster ride, and by the time the playoffs started, no one was sure if they’d make it very far. Then in the National League Championship Series they came up against the Chicago Cubs, who had a ton of momentum on their side. In addition to that, they were the team that the movie Back to the Future II had predicted to win the 2015 World Series back in 1989. Oh yeah, and the last time they’ve won a World Series was in 1907. With all that, the Cubs suddenly became the sentimental Vegas favorite to win the whole thing, even though they came into the postseason on a Wild Card. Then the Mets took them out of the NLCS in four games, silencing any Mets doubters out there.
But now the two teams are set. The New York Mets against the Kansas City Royals. Because the American League won the All Star Game this year, the Royals get home field advantage. In a best of seven series, this might not matter at all, but it does give the Royals a slight edge that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. The Mets’ bats are on fire right now, though, and that could be a problem for the Royals. The Mets have a better pitching staff than the Royals, and the Royals have had slightly better hitters all year. Right now, that’s not the case. The Mets lit up the Cubs during the NLCS, putting up homerun after homerun. Daniel Murphy, the Mets’ second baseman, set an MLB record for homering in six consecutive postseason games, one of which clinched Game 4 against the Cubs. That streak is still going, and the Royals will be hard pressed to stop it.
Mets’ pitchers Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and company will have their work cut out for them as they try to keep the bats of Royals hitters Lorenzo Cain, Kendrys Morales, and Ben Zobrist quiet. All year, these players have been silently making a splash in the MLB as they accumulated stats without making a big deal about it. They are good, but not front page good. Now, they’re in the World Series where they can’t help but make a scene. Either way, the game will be very exciting to watch, even if it doesn’t have the big name appeal that a Series with a Bryce Harper, a Mike Trout, or even an Alex Rodriguex would have had.
Game 1 starts on Tuesday. Because there are not enough teams to legally choose from, this is not a game that can be used for daily fantasy sports. Most yearlong fantasy leagues have already ended their MLB season, too. That means that most people will just be sitting and watching the game with enjoyment and not have to worry about these things. It should be a great matchup, and as of a few days before the Series starts, Vegas has both teams listed as equals. Obviously there will be a winner, though, and the process of determining that will be a lot of fun to sit and watch.