2015 World Series Preview: Will the Mets or Royals End Their Title Drought?
Two franchises who haven’t won a world championship since the mid-1980s will battle in the 2015 World Series. Here’s a preview of the 2015 Fall Classic, which starts Tuesday in Kansas City:
2015 World Series
Kansas City Royals vs. New York Mets
How They Got Here: After winning their first American League Central title since 1985, the Kansas City Royals rallied to beat the Houston Astros in a tight, five-game A.L. Division Series. The defending A.L. champions reached their second consecutive World Series by outplaying the Toronto Blue Jays in the six-game A.L. Championship Series, winning four games to two.
The New York Mets used a strong second-half surge to win the National League East. They then edged the pitching-rich Los Angeles Dodgers in a hard-fought, five-game Division Series before sweeping the favored Chicago Cubs in four games in the NLCS. The Mets advanced to their first World Series since 2000.
Season Series / History: Kansas City and New York didn’t play each other in the 2015 regular season. The last time the Mets won the World Series was 1986; the last time the Royals won the World Series was 1985.
Why the Royals May Win: Pesky Hitters and a Perfect Bullpen. Kansas City’s starting pitching isn’t quite as good as New York’s, but the Royals’ hitters are pesky and patient, and they can get into a bullpen early. They’re also really aggressive once they’re on the basepaths, which can distract even the best pitchers.
Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon and ALCS MVP Alcides Escobar must get on base to give hitters like Mike Moustakas, Kendrys Morales and Eric Hosmer RBI chances. Kansas City’s once-unhittable bullpen has gotten dinged a bit in this postseason, but it should have an easier time with the Mets than it did with the slugging Astros and Jays. When the Royals have a lead, closer Wade Davis saves the game. Period.
Why the Mets May Win: Good Pitching Stops Good Hitting. Mets’ starters Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard are three of the best young arms in baseball. They’ll need to be aggressive with the Royals hitters and go deep into games to keep New York’s shaky middle relievers off the mound. They’ll also need run support from Yoenis Céspedes, David Wright, Lucas Duda and absolutely unconscious NLCS MVP Daniel Murphy.
Game 1: N.Y.: Matt Harvey vs. K.C.: Edinson Volquez
Game 2: N.Y.: Jacob deGrom vs. K.C.: Johnny Cueto
Game 3: N.Y.: Noah Syndergaard vs. K.C.: Yordano Ventura
Game 4: N.Y.: Steven Matz vs. K.C.: Chris Young
2015 World Series Schedule (best-of-seven):
Game 1: Tues., Oct. 27 New York at Kansas City; 8:07 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Game 2: Wed., Oct. 28 New York at Kansas City; 8:07 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Game 3: Fri., Oct. 30 Kansas City at New York; 8:07 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Game 4: Sat., Oct. 31 Kansas City at New York; 8:07 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Game 5* Sun., Nov. 1 Kansas City at New York; 8:07 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Game 6* Tues., Nov. 3 New York at Kansas City; 8:07 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Game 7* Wed., Nov. 4 New York at Kansas City; 8:07 p.m. (ET) on Fox
* if necessary