For one team, a long, championship drought will end. For the other, it’s another, “Wait ’til Next Year” feeling. The New York Mets and Kansas City Royals finally meet, after what seemed to be an endless layoff, for the right to be called World Series Champions. One can only hope that we get another seven game series like we did last year although perhaps with a little more competitiveness instead of the blowouts we saw in Games One and Six. Who takes home the crown? Read on to find out.
Why the Mets will win: The name of the game is starting pitching which we know the Mets have in abundance. The Royals couldn’t solve Madison Bumgarner last year and three of the four New York starting pitchers have the ability to turn in Bumgarner-like efforts. They also have a closer who has been unscored upon in the playoffs in Jeurys Familia, who is capable of throwing more than one inning at a time. The offense is led by Daniel Murphy who is having one of the best playoff runs by a position player in my lifetime. If Lucas Duda can build on his five RBI performance from Game Four of the National League Championship Series, this offense will a handful for the mediocre Kansas City rotation. My guy Curtis Granderson is poised to feast on the all-righty staff with David Wright, Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d’Arnaud providing the thunder behind him. Meanwhile, the Royals will not have Kendrys Morales, their leading home run and RBI man once the series shifts to Citi Field.
Why the Royals will win: This team has been here before. They also will not crack under pressure, even if facing a significant deficit like being down two games to none in the Division Series against the Houston Astros. The Met pitching will have to work hard to get these Royals’ hitters out as they are not the feast or famine Chicago Cubs. D’arnaud will have his work cut out in keeping the KC running game in check. Once the ball is actually put in play, Kansas City is much better defensively than New York. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain are all Gold Glove-caliber defenders. The edge the Royals have on defense is just as large as the Met starting rotation advantage. Kansas City has an equally dominant closer in Wade Davis while Kelvin Herrera is much better than any other Met reliever besides Familia. If it is 2-1 Royals in the sixth inning, expect Herrera for two and Davis for one with manager Ned Yost skipping Ryan Madson who has been shaky. That formula could spell doom for the Amazins’.
Prediction: The series is almost too close to call. While the New York starters have the ability to dominate, none of them are on the roll Bumgarner was on last year. I would give the Royals a slight nod in the bullpen because of Herrera, call the offenses even and with Kansas City holding a big advantage defensively. That being said, the edge the Mets have in the rotation is enormous and the formula of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard for seven and Familia for two is almost unbeatable. It’s a shame these two teams are playing each other because I would love to root hard for one over the other. I have been wrong for much of these playoffs so take this prediction with a wink and a smile: Mets in seven.