The Kansas City Royals face the New York Mets this Tuesday, October 27th to kick off the 2015 World Series. First pitch at 8:07 pm ET. The Royals have just announced that their rotation will be Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Yordano Ventura, and Chris Young in that order. The Mets are going with Matt Harvey, Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, in that order. The Mets rotation has some of the best young arms in the nation. They all have cannons for arms too. The Mets have rode the backs of these stellar pitchers, but the Mets offense is not one to sleep on. Daniel Murphy is having an absolute coming out party this postseason, hitting home run after home run and has been seemingly unstoppable. But to stop the starting rotation of the Mets, the Royals need to hit like the Royals. The hitters of the “Blue Crew” have been one of the most patient lineups in all of baseball all year, including the postseason. This lineup will need to string together long at-bats, wait for the mistake and capitalize on it. It seems to be the MO of the Royals offense, and it will need to continue for Eric Hosmer and company to find offensive success. To limit the scoring of the Mets is fairly simple. Keep the ball out of the middle of the plate, unless you’re facing Murphy, where you might want to keep the ball away from the zone all together. Ned Yost has the best luxury in the game down behind left field to combat the hot Mets hitters. The Royals bullpen has been the best in baseball for the past 2 years. They finished the regular season with the 2nd lowest ERA in baseball, only behind the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wade Davis, the staple of the bullpen, has went from lackluster starter to household name closer for the Royals.
Kauffman Stadium, home of the Royals, will be loud, it will be crazy, it will be an amazing baseball atmosphere. It will be a tough place to play. The Royals are used to the atmosphere of intense playoff baseball, they have done it for the past two years. The Mets have only faced elimination once. That was Game 5 of the NLDS vs the Dodgers. The experience is definitely on the Royals side here. New York is a lot like the 2014 Kansas City Royals squad. They weren’t expected to be in this position at all. But here they are, facing a team who has last years bitter taste of being one swing away from the World Series crown last year. The Royals will have the mental edge and focus like no other. If Ned Yost can get 5-7 innings out of his starters every game, the winners of the AL Pennant will have a great chance at the World Series crown.
Why you might ask? The Royals have the best bullpen in the league, and they hit hard pitching like no other. KC has a .290 average against pitches 95+ mph or higher. The Royals sport the highest batting average in those situations, the next closest being .270 by the Pirates. Timely hitting, starting pitching long enough to bridge to the lockdown bullpen, avoiding the big inning, are all keys to winning for the Royals. Just like they have been all year.
Here’s to another celebration like this one.