In looking at the numbers from the post season only, the Mets have a slight edge over Kansas City in the 'power ranking' category. Most of that is due to the dominant performance of the pitching staff over the Cubs. SO we have to delve a little further.
In going position by position, lumping outfielders as one entity, and the same with DH possibilities, it gives the Royals the edge in 5 of the 7 possible categories. Remembering that the AL has the home field because of that All-Star Game rule thing (here's an idea...instead of home field, give the team from the winning league the better post season game schedule, no day game after night game...just a thought...maybe as inane as the home field idea)
In pitching, lumping the starters and relievers together, the Mets have the edge in both categories, believe it or not. In reality, if the Royals have a lead late in the game, their bullpen is almost untouchable, and has been all season. But if the Royals aren't scoring runs against the Mets' starters, the Royals bullpen may be a moot point.
The layoff could give the Mets offense time to regroup and focus on the basics, and help the struggling hitters. Duda and Wright appeared to be coming around in the last couple of games in the NLCS. And the Royals are hoping the same from Alex Gordon (whom I have been picking as the league MVP in the last couple of pre-season predictions) and Moustakis. But the layoff may also cool off Daniel Murphy, who has been Roy Hobbs incarnate the last 2 weeks.
Jacob deGrom has been phenomenal, as has Matt Harvey. And Juerys Familia has been lights out coming out of the pen. The middle to late inning relief for the Mets should be a concern for them. Tyler Clippard hasn't been overly effective, and Addison Reed has been a little better. I think that the surprise may be coming from Jonathan Niese. I think he may be the key to helping the Mets in the 6th and 7th inning relief spots.
And the Royals starters have been inconsistent. Surprising from Johnny Cueto, but almost expected from Yordano Ventura. Both have issued a lot of walks, and with Curtis Granderson leading off and setting the tone by taking the starters deep into counts, running pitch totals up, and maybe eking out walks from the Royals starters, the Mets might get early leads that their starters can hold onto.
For the Royals, Luke Hochaver is the one I would watch, If they are close or have a lead when he comes in as the bridge to Wade Davis, the Mets are going to have a hard time. This Series looks to be all about the pitching.
If I am going with my heart, I would pick the Mets. If going by the numbers, they are telling me Royals in 7.
But I've been wrong before...
Enjoy the Series!
(It's the first one that didn't involve one of the original 16 teams)
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