The 2015 MLB World Series begins on Tuesday night in Kansas City, with the home town Royals looking to go one better than last year against the New York Mets.
The Royals hadn’t made it to the postseason at all since their triumph in 1985 prior to their heart-breaking 4-3 series loss to the San Francisco Giants a year ago. Few people expected them to get so far and the surprising nature of their postseason run meant there were plenty of doubters who saw them slipping back down the standings as we came into the 2015 season.
They’ve proved them all wrong, including myself, and now they look like a team that is primed to build on all of the lessons learned last time and to take the final step to glory.
The only problem the Royals have in being a team of destiny is that there’s another club who can lay claim to the same title.
The New York Mets have had a similarly long wait for another World Series victory having last taken the prize one year after the Royals (1986). They have at least made the postseason on a number of occasions since then, but not since 2006. Despite a devastating 4-3 NLCS loss to the St Louis Cardinals that year, things still seemed bright in Queens with a new ballpark opening and every reason to think that the team was going to keep competing for years to come.
Instead, the financial crash caught out the Mets’ owners and the big-market team started acting more like paupers, to the increasing anger of their fans.
2015 was thought to herald more of the same disappointment, yet they surprised many by starting out well and the addition of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes at the trade deadline suggested that they may be able to last the pace. Sure enough, a 20-8 record in August saw them take a commanding lead in the NL East and here they are.
Having swept past the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS, the New York Mets come into the World Series full of confidence and their exciting young starting pitchers give them a great chance of proving correct the old adage of pitching being the difference in the postseason.
The series really is too close to call, with the advantage the Mets have in starting pitching being levelled out by the Royals’ proven ability to stick to their plan and get the better of an ace in the end. Both teams have shown great skill on the bases in the play-offs so far and that should set up an exciting contest, alongside the incredible story of the Mets’ Daniel Murphy seeking to extend his scarcely believable home run exploits.
America doesn’t move out of day-light saving time until this Sunday, so the first four games of the World Series – Tuesday night, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday – will get going at just gone midnight UK time, with just a four-hour time difference to contend with. The potential three games afterwards would begin an hour later on Sunday and the following Tuesday and Wednesday. Coverage can be found in the UK on the BT Sport range of channels on online via the MLB.TV subscription.