Adidos Pirates and Yankees!!! See you next year, Cardinals, Dodgers, Rangers and Astros. Close but no cigar Cubs (even with Marty McFly on your side). Which leaves us with just three teams, the Mets, the Blue Jays (who staved off elimination) and the Royals. The question for the Mets is who would they rather face?
It would be an epic battle to see the fastball hitters of the Blue Jays to face the flame throwing pitchers of the Mets. But on the other hand, after coming so close last season, it would be quite the battle to see the last two teams of destiny square off in the Fall Classic.
But before I get into the Mets and give them their props and talk about what they will have to deal with in the next series, let’s take a quick look back at who is gone from the dance. It is important because this is what makes baseball so great.
The Yankees (the Steinbrenner’s are going to do something), the Pirates (perhaps the best outfield in the game and a stud at the top of the rotation), the Astros (One of the most exciting players in Carlos Correa and a young powerful team, with a ton of pitching), the Rangers (Hamels & Darvish at the top of the rotation to go with that mashing line-up), the Cardinals (just the best run franchise in the sport), the Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager and a ton of money) and the Cubs (such a great young core, the probable Cy Young winner and money to spend) all were sent home early, but which one of those teams can you not see being right back here next year?
None of them, then add in whoever loses between the Royals and Blue Jays, and whoever wins and the Mets (with that amazing young rotation) plus the Angels, Red Sox & Nationals and baseball is in the best shape it has been in for years. Every league strives for parity; the fact that baseball has it in spades just shows how great this game is right now.
But back to the Mets, a team that in April everyone thought was headed for a 2nd place finish in the NL East and a possible Wild Card Berth will represent the NL in the World Series. There is no hotter hitter on the planet right now than Daniel Murphy. After all, he has set the record for most homeruns in consecutive games with 6, and his 7 bombs this post-season are a Mets record.
Let’s just hope he doesn’t end up with Larry Brown syndrome. The Mets have already said he is not in their plans for the future, so he is sure to sign a huge deal now based on this post season. Don’t get me wrong, Murphy has always been a solid player, but he is not who he is showing himself to be right now. It is not just the fact that he is blasting bombs, it is the names of pitchers he has hit them off of, Kershaw, Grienke, Lester and Arrieta. That is amazing.
But who do the Mets match up the best with in the World Series? Well if you ask Mets fans, and I have, the answer is the Royals. It appears that the bats of Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and probable AL MVP Josh Donaldson are a little too scary for Mets fans. I don’t blame them as they are some of best bats in the game and the reason the Jays scored 127 more runs than any other team in baseball.
But if I were Mets fans, I would be careful for what I wished for. The Kansas City Royals may have only scored 724 runs this season, but that is still more than either the Cubs or Dodgers (the Mets two playoff opponents) scored this season.
Add that to the fact that the Royals pitching is better than that of the Blue Jays, and I am not so sure I would be wishing for this team. Especially the way they have been hitting since Game 4 of the ALDS versus the Astros.
When they were down 6-2 in the 8th inning and two games to one in the series, all of a sudden their bats awoke from their month long malaise, and they have been on fire since then.
That brings me to the last factor of the Royals that nobody seems to want to take into account, and that is the team of destiny factor. After last season’s magical run that ended in Game 7 of the World Series, all season the Royals seemed to be the team destined to win the World Series.
So now the question is, who is in the best position to win it all? The team with all the young arms and the magical 2nd baseman? The team with the power bats? Or the team of destiny? I guess time will tell.