World Series 2015: Royals vs. Mets in first 'Fall Classic' meeting
Kansas City and New York won consecutive World Series titles in the mid-1980s. Now, the Royals and Mets are back, looking to add to their lore.
The New York Mets and Kansas City Royals are both children of the 1960s – born after Major League Baseball moved west, creating a vacuum on the East Coast and in the Midwest. The Mets appeared on the scene in 1962, the Royals in 1969.
Move ahead to the early 1980s and both the Royals and Mets had built or were building championship-caliber clubs.
The Royals competed for the American League championship in the late 1970s and won their first pennant in 1980. Five years later, Kansas City captured its first and only World Series title.
For the Mets, seven years after their creation, they were the world champions of baseball in 1969. 15 years later, the Mets were back in contention for the National League crown, finally winning a second pennant and World Series in 1986.
There have even been a handful of players who have worn the uniforms of both teams, including outfielder Carlos Beltran and pitcher David Cone.
Now, some three decades after their creation, these Children of the '60s teams finally meet on Major League Baseball's biggest stage. The 2015 World Series starts Tuesday night in Kansas City.
The Royals outlasted the Toronto Blue Jays this past Friday night, winning the best-of-seven American League Championship Series, four games to two. Meanwhile, New York swept the Chicago Cubs in four National League Championship Series games to advance to this year's World Series.
The last time the Mets were in the "Fall Classic" was in 2000, when they lost to the New York Yankees. The Royals were just in the World Series one year ago, losing in seven games to the San Francisco Giants.
The last time any team went to back-to-back World Series was the Texas Rangers, who lost to the Giants in 2010 and the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011.
A big part of the Mets' success this season has been their pitching. New York's pitching staff was fourth-best, in terms of earned run average (ERA), during the regular season, at 3.43. They're the best staff out of all the major league teams this postseason, with a 2.81 ERA.
In addition to Harvey, Mets manager Terry Collins will also have Jacob DeGrom (three wins in the postseason), Noah Syndergaard (postseason opponent batting average .174) and rookie Steven Matz starting for New York in the Series.
Meanwhile, the defending American League champions boast the highest team batting average this postseason, at .271. Leading the Royals is shortstop Alcides Escobar, who is hitting .386 in the leadoff spot in the KC batting order.
The hitting star for the Mets this postseason is second baseman Daniel Murphy, who has hit a home run in the past six playoff games, setting a new major league record. Murphy is hitting .421 in the postseason, with a total of seven home runs and 11 runs batted in.
As for predictions, the staff at MLB.com gives a slight edge to the Royals. Eight writers are projecting a Kansas City World Series win, while six are going with the Mets.
Over at ESPN.com, before the MLB playoffs got underway, only one observer, Jerry Crasnick, picked the Royals to win the World Series. Only Adam Rubin had the Mets winning the Fall Classic.
You can watch the 111th World Series, starting Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Eastern time on Fox.