World Series of the Underdog

The stage is finally set. After 162 regular season games, the wild card games, the divisional playoff series, and the league championship series two teams have proved themselves to be a cut above the rest. The Kansas City Royals, the number one team in the American League will meet the number three National League team, the New York Mets in the 2015 World Series. This year’s World Series is somewhat of a treat to baseball fans who prefer variety; this is the first time since 2008 the series will not include the Yankees, Cardinals or Giants. Instead, the series plays host to two teams who in the past have been perennial underdogs. Their fans have been rewarded for their patience and will now be subject to the usual nerves and excitement that comes with the World Series.

The New York Mets have had a season that is nothing short of magical. The team finished first in the National League East division after winning 90 games. Their regular season success can be heavily attributed to their great pitching. Starting pitchers Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard have been nothing short of dominant. Trade deadline acquisition Yoenis Cespedes has also been extremely important both in the outfield and at bat. The Mets have two impressive series wins so far in the playoffs. First in the divisional series they played a tough five games against a talented Dodgers team that pushed the Mets into the National League Championship Series against the Cubs. Perhaps the team’s most impressive feat was its complete dominance of the NLCS, dealing with the high-flying Cubs in a four-game sweep after going winless against them in the regular season.

On the other hand, the Royals have had an equally impressive season. After losing out in the 2014 World Series to the San Francisco Giants, Kansas City showed that it had a very short memory with an extraordinary bounce-back performance. The team ended up cruising to 95 wins, resulting in winning the American League Central division and becoming a number one seed in the playoffs. In the divisional series, the Royals played the promising Houston Astros who forced the series to go to five games. In the American League Championship Series, Kansas City faced the Toronto Blue Jays, who looked to be as dangerous as anyone in baseball. However, the Royals defeated Toronto without too much trouble in six games, including an impressive 14-2 victory in Game 4.

When it comes to predicting the outcome of this year’s World Series, it really is anyone’s guess. On one side, the Kansas City Royals have cruised through the entire season with a deadly efficiency after coming up just short in 2014. On the other side, the Mets have the momentum of a speeding freight train,  led by infielder Daniel Murphy, who has broken the Mets’ postseason homerun record with homeruns in six straight games. Some are arguing that the Royals have the upper hand because of the team’s recent World Series experience, while the Mets haven’t been in the Series since 2000. However, I don’t see experience as important in this case. My prediction is that the Mets will win the series in seven games simply due to their excellent pitching. The true X-factor for the Royals will be if they can score consistently. Either way, the series is shaping up to be one for the ages.