The New York Mets and Kansas City Royals have only ever met nine times. Interestingly enough Major League Baseball has them scheduled to open next season against each other…April 4th, 2016.
Oh…they’re also scheduled to play against each other in the 2015 World Series starting Tuesday in Kansas City.
This is one Fall Classic that should be a classic. If they played this World Series on paper we’d already have it framed.
The pitching rotation for New York is awesome. It has been forever since we’ve seen a foursome with so much going for them. They are young and strong with fastballs at 95 mph plus and alternative pitches that leave batters just as baffled. They scrap and fight to keep anyone off the base paths. It does not matter who is taking the mound for the Mets, they throw hard and battle you with every pitch. Matt Harvey. Jacob deGrom. Noah Syndergaard. Steven Matz. Those names you’ll hear for awhile to come.
But what makes this World Series fascinating to me is Kansas City has shown a knack for reversing the trajectory of incoming fastballs. Or any pitches for that matter. According to STATS Royals batters hit a majors-leading season best .300 on pitches of 95 mph or more.
They also sported the highest contact rate. And no team struck out less in the regular season.
Defense. Speed. The NY hitters against the KC rotation…including Daniel Murphy…now the only player ever to hit a home run in six straight post-season games. We of course could go into much greater detail. But the reason I highlighted the above is that’s where I see this confrontation coming down to.
Mets pitching versus Royals hitting.
One obvious note – Kansas City was just on this stage a year ago. They lost a Game Seven at home. They are on a mission to make sure that doesn’t happen again and have had a full year to process the pain.
Which of course works both ways. Will the Royals batters seize up at the sight of each ace the Mets send to the hill fearing history is repeating itself? Or…will we find Kansas City can hit New York’s staff as well as all the others they’ve seen this season?
This is the first World Series between franchises born in the expansion era of the 1960’s. There’s history right off the bat before the first at-bat. I’m betting history will also judge the upcoming World Series as one the better ones.
Kansas City exorcises its demons of twelve months and wins a Game Seven at home this time.