How the Mets can beat the Royals

Posted: October 24, 2015 in Mets Postseason, News, Opinion
Tags: ,

By Steven InmanMLB World Series

By now you are aware that for the first time since 2000, the Mets are going to the World Series. The Amazin’s journey to this point has been incredible but the final step to get this club down the Canyon of Heroes depends on the next two weeks. This Kansas City Royals team is on a mission after a difficult loss in Game 7 to the San Francisco Giants during the 2014 World Series.

The Royals biggest strength is their bullpen led by Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera. Obviously it is imperative that the Mets get leads before KC can go with those two dynamic pitchers. KC will be the toughest test this Met team has seen all year but the Royals can be defeated if the Mets can do the following things.

  1. Keep Alcides Escobar off base

Escobar had a difficult regular season offensively (.293 OBP) but has been the Royals spark plug in the playoffs. Escobar who doesn’t hit for much power and almost refuses to walk has been extraordinary in October. Escobar went 11 for 23 (.478 AVG) with three extra base hits in the six ALCS games vs the Blue Jays. While Escobar doesn’t get on base at a high clip normally, the Royals really seem to play much better when he hits leadoff. Escobar led off in 131 games for KC in the regular season and batted first in all 6 games of the ALCS. When Escobar is on base the Royals can do a lot of things with good contact hitters like Ben Zobrist, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer behind him. Keeping the top of this Royals order off base is going to be a very difficult task.

  1. Met Pitchers change timing to the plate

As most saw in the 2014 playoffs, the Royals have the ability to alter a game with their speed. Lorenzo Cain and company showed in Game 6 of the ALCS that base running is still a major weapon in their offensive attack. While Travis d’Arnaud’s throwing has improved in 2015, base runners still stole at a 74.4% clip in the regular season with the young backstop behind the plate, which ranked 24th in the league among catchers who played in 60 or more regular season games. Met pitchers changing their timing to the plate and even just holding the ball longer on the mound can go a long way in helping d’Arnaud throw out runners this series.

  1. Met pitchers don’t be afraid to throw off-speed pitches in key situations

The Royals all season have feasted off fastballs. The Royals also were the best in the big leagues in batting average against 94+mph fastballs. The Mets big three right-handed starters have some of the best fastballs in the majors. The Royals right-handed bats hit .350 with 13 homers against right-handed fastballs but just .187 against breaking balls. The Royals lefty swingers also performed well against RH fastballs. (.340 AVG, 15 HR vs FB, .169 AVG, 5 HR vs breaking balls) In game 6 of the ALCS Kansas City was hitting David Price’s fastball hard to start the game. The Blue Jays ace starting mixing in his breaking pitches which helped keep hitters off his fastball. Price really got into a rhythm by using his breaking pitches which helped his great fastball play up later on in the game.

When throwing fastballs in key situations against the Royals the best place to attack is up and out of the strike zone. KC hit just .239 against fastballs up and above the zone during the 2015 regular season. (.358 AVG down in the zone) The Mets will hopefully be prepared for this when they head to KC for Game 1 on Tuesday.

The Royals are going to be extremely difficult to beat but the Mets have come back from so much this season. If the Mets follow these keys they have a great chance at being World Champions.

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