2015 World Series Preview: A tale 30 years in the making!

On the morning of the 2015 World Series opener, we as fanatics could not have asked for a better match up. On paper we have the patient/contact hitting/defensive Royals going against the Mets young flame throwing pitchers and one man wrecking crew Daniel Murphy. I’m here to give you a quick preview of what I believe this series will bring to viewers.

Historic journey…

9,416… That’s the number of games both teams have played in the regular season after the last time they won their respective World Series.

1985 WS Royals

Kansas City Royals:

  • Kansas City has had the toughest playoff drought going the big show, or even the playoffs since last year.
  • Since winning the WS in 1985, they have never taken the division until this year.
  • 2015 KC’s W-L% is the highest (.586) since 1985 (.562)
  • 1985 Regular Season Stars:
    • Pitching: 28 yr old Charlie Leibrandt went 17-9, 2.69 ERA, 237.2 IP, 108 SO
    • Batting: 32 yr old George Brett played in 155 games, .335 BA, 30 HR, 112 RBI’s
  • 1985 WS MVP: Bret Saberhagen- 2-0, 0.50 ERA, 18 IP, 10 SO

1986 WS Mets

New York “Miracle” Mets:

  • Since their 2000 WS appearance they have only reached the playoff once (2006)
  • 2006 was the last time they took the division before this year
  • Their W-L% in 2006 (.599) was much higher than 2015 (.556) but not as high as 1986 (.667)
  • 1986 Regular Season Stars:
    • Pitching: 21 yr old Dwight Gooden went 17-6, 2.84 ERA, 250 IP, and 200 SO
    • Batting: 32 yr old Gary Carter hit .255 BA, 24 HR, 105 RBI’s
  • – 1986 WS MVP: Ray Knight – .391 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI’s

2015 World Series Matchup

With AL winning the All-Star game back in July, the series will start in Kansas City (Kaufman Stadium) for 2 games, then head back to New York (Citi Field) for the next 3 games and finish (if necessary) in Kansas City for the final 2 games. Currently the probable are:

Game 1 @ KC: Matt Harvey (13-8, 2.71) vs. Edinson Volquez (13-9, 3.55)

Harvey vs. Volquez

  • Volquez was stunning in game 1 vs. the Blue Jays going 6 innings and 5 SO. Game 5 was a different story when he went 5 innings allowing 5 ER and only SO 2.
  • Harvey has been a little more consistent in that both outings (NLDS vs. Dodgers and NLCS vs. Cubs) opposing hitters were only able to get 2 ER each time. He pitched 5 innings and struck out 9 in the NLDS and threw 7.2 innings while whiffing another 9 in the NLCS.

Game 2 @ KC: Jacob deGrom (14-8, 2.54) vs. vs. Johnny Cueto (11-13, 3.44)

deGromCueto

  • Cueto has not earned the value he was brought in for allowing 14 ER over 16 IP so far in the 2015 Playoffs. His last outing against the Blue Jays was his shortest outing going just 2 IP.
  • deGrom has been a true work horse for the team pitching 20 innings while striking out 27 and allowing 4 within 3 games in the 2015 playoffs. His issues come within the first few innings where he struggles to find his groove. But as the numbers tell us, he settles in pretty good.

Game 3 @ NYC: Yordano Ventura (13-8, 4.08) vs. Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.24)

SyndergaardVentura

  • Syndergaard starts game 3 in New York where Orange and Blue will overrun the city like bargain shoppers on Black Friday. He has gone 13 innings, striking out 20 while only allowing 4 ER.
  • Ventura started the year hot and then cooled off (for some time). But he is back with vengeance as the enthusiastic young Dominican has pitched 17.2 innings striking out 21 while allowing 10 ER.

Game 4 @ NYCChris Young (11-6, 3.06) vs. Steven Matz (4-0, 2.27)

MatzYoung

  • Matz will be pitching in a game that should have his emotions strapped to 4th of July Cherry Bomb. Born in Stony Brook, NY he has gone to a Shea stadium game a few times in his life. Now he gets to pitch in the biggest game of his VERY young career and in the biggest stage for the sport. He has done well so far in the 2015 playoffs going 9.2 innings while striking out 8 and allowing only 4 runs.
  • Young is a veteran of a pitcher but this is only 2 time in the playoffs (’06 and ’15) since starting in 2004. On paper this matchup seems perfect considering that Young’s has gone 8.2 innings while striking out 11 and allowing only 3 runs this post season so far.

*Game 5 @ NYC: Volquez vs. Matt Harvey
*Game 6 @ KC: Jacob deGrom vs. Cueto
*Game 7 @ KC: Noah Syndergaard vs. Ventura

*if necessary

The lineup for both teams has their ups and downs, but KC has less of a gap then the Mets. KC is a vicious lineup to go through it 3 times around, and let alone a young pitching squad to square away against them seems tougher than what people are giving them credit for. And yet the Mets lineup continues to steal the spotlight with front man Daniel Murphy leading the charge. Murphy’s record breaking performance thus far is not the only thing propelling the Mets into a WS win, but he sure is the one of the sparks that lights up the fire.

Like I mentioned in the opening of this article, the matchup could not have been written any better. While the Royals are sending out a lineup that reeks of production through contact hitting, patients at the plate, and well-rounded players the Mets are launching off the mound a quartet of flame throwing, long hair waving, young and hungry rotation.

Since they last met during the 2013 regular season, KC won that series 2-1 at Citi Field. 2 of the 3 games were decided in extra innings, and even though both teams look completely different the result might be the same.

Here’s a quick look at where I draw the advantages in this series:

Starting Rotation: Mets – C’mon, those arms are ridiculous and give the better upside.

Bullpen: Royals – Wade Davis, enough said…

Lineup: Royals – 1 through 9 there are no breaks for Mets pitchers.

Bench: Mets – The veteran pickups mid-year are going to prove their worth.

Prediction

I believe the Mets take the series 4-2 going through very close games, but ultimately the young arms show off the heat. #LGM

-José

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