The Kansas City Royals return to the World Series as the best contact team in baseball. They are going to need that particular skill set. They are facing a team with arm after arm after arm of swing-and-miss stuff.
The team that doesn’t strikeout faces a strikeout staff. Great pitching is supposed to beat great hitting, so the axiom would favor the Mets. But this is baseball. Anything can happen. And it usually does.
The Royals play with a lot of heart. Maybe it’s because they have eleven home-grown players on their roster. But they have made some pretty brilliant pickups as well, the kind a small revenue team (or one masquerading as one) needs to make in order to succeed.
Before the 2011 season, the Royals traded Zack Greinke in exchange for Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain and Jake Odorizzi. Then, a few years later, they flipped Odorizzi and Wil Myers to Tampa Bay for James Sheilds and Wade Davis.
Escobar, Cain and Davis are hugely valuable pieces of this team’s success, as was James Shields last year before he bolted for free agency and San Diego obscurity.
The Royals made a couple of major deals at the trade deadline this year. They picked up Ben Zobrist, who switch hits and plays every position. Then they picked up Johnny Cueto, who has been a top-ten pitcher almost every year he has pitched. Except for his time in Kansas City.
To say he has been a disappointment would be an understatement. He has pitched so poorly in his free agent walk season, in fact, he might have just taken his annual yearly value from $25 million year to $24 million. Idiot owners will still shower him with cash despite his 4-7 ending to his season with a bloated ERA of 4.76, and the eight-runs-in-two-innings shellacking the took off the Blue Jays in Game 3 of the Championship Series.
So, as the World Series starts tonight, the slight edge has to go to the Mets because of their pitching. Well, maybe it’s to the Royals because of their hitting and bullpen. But the Mets can hit with the best of them. And they are, in fact, playing the best of them.
World Series Schedule:
Tuesday, Oct. 27, in Kansas City, 7:07 start, FOX
Wednesday, Oct 28, in Kansas City, 7:07 start, FOX
Friday, Oct. 30, in New York, 7:07 start, FOX
Saturday, Oct. 31, in New York, 7:07 start, FOX
Sunday, Nov. 1, in New York, 7:07 start, FOX
Tuesday, Nov. 3, in Kansas City, 7:07 start, FOX
Wednesday, Nov 4, in Kansas City, 7:07 start, FOX