The Mets are in the postseason. That sounds weird. In any event, the Mets currently stand two games above the Cubs in the NLCS. It’s never okay to say a series is over before the final out, but confidence is key for the Mets. While the Mets will be sending Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, and possibly Matt Harvey to the bump in Chicago, the American League is trying to figure out who will represent the junior circuit in the World Series. So, who should the Mets want to face in the World Series? Neither. However, for all intents and purposes let’s parse out who would be the better option.
Toronto Blue Jays:
Why the Mets would want to face them:
The Toronto Blue Jays are the 1990’s Indians: tons of offense, great middle-infield defense, and a shaky pitching staff. The Mets are on their way to becoming the 1990’s Braves with their phenomenal pitching staff. We all know how 1995 turned out.
The Blue Jays have an offense that is fairly prone to the strikeout. Jose Bautista and Russell Martin managed to both strikeout 106 times while Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak figured out a way to strikeout 85+ times with less than 400 plate appearances. This could work to the Mets favor as they would look to shut down the offense.
In addition, other than Kevin Pillar and Ben Revere, this offense has limited amounts of speed up and down their roster. The result could be some aggressive plays at the plate that will likely end in an outfield assist caused by Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, or even Curtis Granderson.
Beyond the offense, take a look at that pitching staff. Former Mets ace R.A. Dickey does not scare anyone with a knuckleball affected by treacherous winds in Citi Field. Plus, David Price has yet to win a postseason start in his career. Marco Estrada and Marus Stroman are still unproven pitchers with tons to still prove.
Why the Mets do not want to face them:
They might strikeout a bit, but they have four 20+ homerun guys to go along with another 33 from their first base platoon (Smoak and Colabello). This lineup is a complete force. There is virtually nothing that can get past this team no matter how hard they throw. Facing this offense will likely send the Mets packing for 2016.
Plus, Dickey probably won’t even sniff a pitch inside of Citi Field during a potential World Series. Price is eventually going to be due for a win and the Mets’ luck suggests it will be at the worst time. This is a solid pitching staff to go along with a hard-throwing bullpen.
Kansas City Royals:
Why the Mets want to face them:
This team is stacked, there is no doubt about it. However they have one clear weakness – the starting rotation. No one in Kansas City has an ERA under 3.00. Edinson Volquez and Yordano Ventura have major heat in their arsenal, but both have struggled in the postseason. To add insult to injury, Johnny Cueto has been ineffective since arriving in Missouri. This could be an opening for a team such as the Mets to exploit.
Why the Mets do not want to face them:
Like I said before, this team is absolutely lethal in all aspects of the game. It seems like they’ve got eight Gold Glovers taking the field every night and they never make mistakes.
At the end of the 2014 World Series, major questions were raised about how the Royals could produce enough runs to contend. All questions about this topic were answered. Only two players struck out 100 times, and those players combined for 199 RBI (Eric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales). They feature five different players who are capable of driving in runs, in addition to a duo of dynamic table-setters (Alcides Escober and Ben Zobrist). They score late, are always poised, and they believe in each other.
The bullpen is beyond explanation. The weak link is their long reliever Kris Medlen and we all remember how he rattled off zero’s in 2012. Greg Holland might be missing, but the dominance is not. Kelvin Herrera, Ryan Madson, and Wade Davis have completely overpowered the opposition thus far. Did we mention Franklin Morales and Luke Hochevar?
Verdict: The Mets are better suited to face the Kansas City Royals
While it would be great for baseball to watch the classic Pitching vs. Hitting World Series, the Mets would have an “easier” time beating those crazy kids in Missouri. Their rotation has just enough gaps for the Mets to grab an early lead and let Jeurys Familia do the rest of the work. If they face Toronto, Harvey and deGrom would be knocked out far too quickly. If they face Kansas City, the starters might be able to make it through 7-8 innings.