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2015 MLB World Series Odds and Betting Preview – Royals vs Mets

The Kansas City Royals and New York Mets will be looking to snap three decade-long World Series droughts when they lock horns in Game one of the best-of-seven match-up. Kansas City was the early favourite to claim its first Fall Classic since 1986 after eliminating the Toronto Blue Jays in six games, however the teams can no longer be split at $1.92 apiece. The World Series begins at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City from 11am Wednesday (AEDT) in a showdown that the Royals have been waiting for after falling at the last hurdle in 2014.

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HISTORY TELLS US

Forget about it.

That’s Major League Baseball for you, but the Royals and Mets last played each other in the regular season in 2013. Kansas City won that series 2-1, but with team rosters changing so significantly from year to year, the teams squaring off this week are barely recognisable compared to those that took the field two years ago.

 

HOW THEY GOT HERE

Few people predicted the Mets would even make the playoffs in 2015, such were the questions surrounding the team’s young pitching core and veterans like Michael Cuddyer and Curtis Granderson. A sluggish start to the season had the non-believers tipping it would be another disappointing year, but New York’s campaign gathered steam at exactly the right time when they won 20 of their 28 games in August, including a 12-1 thumping of Miami and a 12-3 job on Colorado. They finished the season atop the National League East before seeing off the big-spending LA Dodgers and their gun pitcher Clayton Kershaw, and then ended the Chicago Cubs’ dream of winning their first World Series in more than a century.

The Royals, on the other hand, picked up where they left off in 2014. Having turned a wildcard spot in the 2014 playoffs into a World Series berth, the Royals won their first seven games of the 2015 season and never looked back. They finished the season with the best record in the American League (95-67) – the team’s best since 1980 – but almost came unstuck in the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros, when they were down two games to one and trailed 6-2 in the eighth inning of Game 4, but pulled off a remarkable comeback to win that game and cruise through the decider. They also did some chasing against the Toronto Blue Jays, rallying from three runs down in Game 2 before claiming the series in Game 6 to earn another shot at a World Series.

 

THE ONES TO WATCH

The Royals offense has been the best of the postseason so far, hitting .271 with a .777 on-base plus slugging (OPS). And it’s been Royals lead-off hitter Alcides Escobar dishing out the majority of the pain to the opposition, averaging .386 with 17 hits and five runs batted in from his 44 at-bats. The shortstop’s haul includes five extra base hits and only six strikeouts. Outfielder Alex Rios and second baseman Ben Zobrist round out the Royals’ top three offensive weapons, while Kendrys Morales and catcher Salvador Perez have combined for eight home runs during the post-season. Designated hitter Morales will be forced to the bench for Games 3, 4 and maybe 5 in New York, where National League rules (pitcher hits) apply.

The Mets, also out to smash a 30-year World Series hoodoo, are not without weapons of their own, with playoff home run hero Daniel Murphy, Curtis Granderson, David Wright and Yoenis Cespedes capable of going big. Murphy carries a .421 average going into the Fall Classic after blasting home runs in an MLB record six consecutive playoff games.

“I can’t explain it,” Murphy told USA Today. “It’s just such a blessing to be able to contribute to what we’ve been able to do.”

The Mets will rely on their stable of power arms – Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard – to blunt the Royals’ bats.

 

X-FACTORS

NY Mets: Yoenis Cespedes could be the difference if his bat catches fire during the series. The former Oakland Athletics slugger takes a .265 average into the World Series with seven runs batted in and two home runs. Cespedes has struck out in 11 of his 34 at-bats.

Kansas City: Eric Hosmer is hitting .222 this post-season – down on his career .280 average. The 26-year-old first-baseman, who blasted 93 RBIs and 18 home runs during the regular season, can find his groove against the powerful Mets’ pitchers.

 

WHO’LL WIN IT?

Royals 4-2

The Mets have improved out of sight this year but the Royals should be too strong in six games after falling at the final hurdle last year. Manager Ned Yost looks to have his Royals primed after a hard-fought ALCS against offensive beasts the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

PROJECTED LINE-UPS – GAME 1

Royals

SS Alcides Escobar

2B Ben Zobrist

CF Lorenzo Cain

1B Eric Hosmer

DH Kendrys Morales

3B Mike Moustakas

C Salvador Perez

LF Alex Gordon

RF Alex Rios

 

Mets

RF Curtis Granderson

3B David Wright

2B Daniel Murphy

LF Yoenis Cespedes

1B Lucas Duda

C Travis d’Arnaud

DH Michael Conforto

SS Wilmer Flores

CF Juan Lagares

 

 

SERIES SCHEDULE

Wednesday 11am @ KC

Thursday 11am @ KC

Saturday 11am @ NY

Sunday 11am @ NY

Monday 12.15pm @ NY

Wednesday 12pm @ KC

Thursday 12pm @ KC

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