It’s one of my favorite times of the year. Though it is pretty disappointing I haven’t watched the Red Sox play since the first week of October, it’s somewhat a relief that I can enjoy the World Series as a neutral fan. Don’t get me wrong – I’d give anything for Boston to be where the Royals are right now. At the same time, getting to watch a good series without the agony of Game 7's, the potential for injuries or even worse: losing, will be nice.
Though I called myself a neutral fan, I (like many others) will be rooting for the New York Mets. How could you not? Unless you’re from Kansas, you should be on the Mets side. Both teams have been waiting a long time for another World Series ring. The Royals have appeared in the World Series three times, winning once in 1985. About a year ago I was writing about the Royals, as they were the American League Champs and went on to face (and lose to) the San Fransisco Giants in the World Series.
The Mets haven’t won since 1986, their second since winning in 1969. New York has appeared in the World Series three times since and have yet to come out on top. Most recently, the Mets suffered a heartbreaking loss in the National League Championship Series, where they fell to the St. Louis Cardinals (who went on to win the World Series). This will be the first time they’ve reached the playoffs since, and it’s been quite an impressive run.
Before the series begins Tuesday night, I looked at the stats for both teams. Some people don’t rely heavily on the numbers, but I’m a huge fan of both player and team stats. Numbers don’t lie. Sure there are other factors that contribute to wins and losses but you can’t ignore the facts.
Kansas City finished the regular season 95-67, giving them a .586 winning percentage. Since people seem to think only October stats matter now, we’ll look at the Royals postseason thus far. Their playoff run is comprised of 11 games, two more than the Mets as they went to Game 6 with the Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series (whereas the Mets swept the Chicago Cubs in 4). They’ve had 99 hits and 63 runs, with 15 home runs this postseason.
The Mets went 90-72, with a .556 winning percentage in the regular season. In their nine games played this postseason they’ve had 43 runs, 68 hits and are just one homerun shy of tying the Royals. In terms of hitting stats, the teams are relatively similar.
In terms of pitching, the Mets are the favorites by a long shot. There’s a saying that pitchers win championships. While that’s mostly true, they can’t win it alone. Luckily for the Mets, their odds are looking good as they have very similar hitting stats, as well as the huge edge on pitching. New York has the lowest postseason ERA (2.81) compared to the Royals at No. 8 in the rankings with 4.41. In the Royals defense, they have played two more games than the Mets so stats such as inning pitches, and total hits allowed might not be fair to compare.
The Mets pitching isn’t some fluke in the postseason either, as they finished the regular season number 4 in the entire league with a 3.45 ERA. The Mets World Series pitching rotation starts Matt Harvey in Game 1, Jacob deGrom for Game 2, Noah Syndergaard for Game 3, and Steven Matz for Game 4. That’s more than enough hair and talent to help the Mets cruise to a World Series title.
Whether it comes down to pitching or not, the Mets have a decent shot at claiming their first World Series title since 1986, (a series by the way I choose to forget).
Molly Burkhardt is a staff writer and MLB columnist for The Daily Campus. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.