The Royals advanced to the World Series against the Mets with a win over the Blue Jays Friday night. And now the Mets will have their hands full.
I am not an expert on the Royals, but they have a fine team, as evidenced by their American League-leading 95 wins in the regular season. They have a well-rounded roster — a balanced lineup that features power (six players with double-digit home runs), average (three players hit above .290) and speed (three players with double-digit steals).
The pitching is very good. They have solid starters in Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez and believe it or not, old pal Chris Young. The bullpen is said to be the Royals strength.
So the Mets better score early, or they may not score at all. That does not seem to be a problem, as they have struck early and often during the post-season. They scored in the first three innings in seven of their nine playoff games, for a total of 22 runs. This has been crucial to their success, and there is no reason it cannot continue.
As effective as they have been, except for Cueto, none of the Royals starters can measure up to the pitchers the Mets have seen and beaten — Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester and Jake Arietta. So the Mets should be able to score some runs.
The Mets pitching bested fine hitting Dodgers and Cubs lineups. Again, there is no reason the Mets young starters will not be able to handle the Royals lineup.
The one intangible the Royals have is that they have been here before, last year, to be exact. No win wants to lose the World Series, but no one really wants to lose it two years in a row. The Royals might be a bit more hungry than the Mets; the question is whether it will be enough to tilt the series in the Royals favor.
I say no. I say Mets in six. No wait, five.