Mets Will Win The World Series If…

…Daniel Murphy and Wilmer Flores play league-average defense.

Y’know, if you had told me at the beginning of Spring Training that Sandy Alderson’s failure to land a bona-fide major league shortstop wouldn’t be an issue until the World Series, I probably would have been thrilled. Now, with the start of the Game One less than 36 hours away, I am somewhat less thrilled. I admit I have paid zero attention to the Kansas City Royals until Saturday morning, but from all accounts I’ve heard since, they are a contact-oriented offense, far less prone to the strikeout than any of the Mets other opponents so far this post-season.

If that is indeed the case, then the Mets’ most potent weapon, those power arms, is at least partially neutralized, as the big strikeout in a key situation will less likely than it was during the regular season and the playoffs. There could be a lot of balls put in play. While the Mets corner infielders and the outfield are certainly competent enough, the up-the-middle infield duo of Murphy and Flores does give one pause. And thanks to Chase Utley, the Mets have no real alternatives here, especially at shortstop, unless you really believe that Matt Reynolds could actually make his major league debut during a World Series game.

This season has certainly had more than its share of twists and turns for the Mets. Flores and  Murphy have been major stories, Flores’ July tears and Murphy’s NLCS tear (see what I did here) figuring prominently in the narrative. Right before our very eyes, Alderson morphed from a smirking jackass to a baseball genius. Winning covers a multitude of sins. A couple of big errors by Wilmer will certainly take some of the shine off the season and will no doubt return us to the narrative of why Sandy couldn’t find a big-league glove at short.

I believe that the key to the Royals’ success in this series is to get men on and then move them over, disrupting the rhythm that the Mets young arms got into these last two series. Balls put in play will have to be played or they will be able to implement this strategy, causing the Mets pitchers to throw over and pitch out more, or worse, attempt to be too fine and put a meatball or two over the plate.

Unlike the Cubs, I expect Kansas City to be partially successful here. If the Mets can limit KC’s opportunities by not providing them with extra outs, I believe the Mets can win this series in six. If not, its Royals in five.

Your turn in this World Series Edition of Mets Today: What’s your prediction for the series? Does the clock strike twelve on one of this pair of Met Cinderellas? Is there another unlikely hero waiting in the wings? How much fun is this?


A Mets fan since 1971, Dan spent many summer nights of his childhood watching the Mets on WOR Channel Nine, which his Allentown, PA cable company carried. Dan was present at Game 7 of the 1986 World Series and the Todd Pratt Walkoff Game in 1999. He is also the proud owner of two Shea Stadium seats. Professionally, Dan is a Marketing Manager in the Bulk Materials Handling industry. He lives in Bethlehem PA with his wife and son, neither of whom fully get his obsession with the Mets.
  1. DaveSchneck October 26, 2015 at 7:45 pm
    Very saavy with tears and tear. I agree on the defense being a major issue for the Mets, and that includes everyone, not just 2B and SS. I do think the Met power arms will still get their share of Ks. While KC has shown statistically that it can hit the FB, for my two cents the lack of familiarity is an initial advantage to the pitcher. Without doing any research, I suspect that the Met hitters have many more ABs vs. KC pitching than vice versa. Sprinkle into that the fact that a MLB pitching staff hasn’t come close to throwing as many 95+ FBs as the 2015 Mets in many years, and that this crew of Met power arms has plus second and third pitches, lends me to believe the Met starters will be successful. But, if they can’t get the ball directly to Familia, the defense will really be tested.

    By the way, when was the last time a player made his big league debut in a WS game? Talk about pressure.

    I gave the Dodgers the edge in the opening round by virtue of Kershaw/Greinke, and the Mets the edge in the NLCS by virtue of the big arms. I give KC a slight edge given its defense, home field advantage, and being there last year, but it is really close to a coin flip. How about Mets in game 6 in extra innings?

  2. crozier October 26, 2015 at 9:16 pm
    It would be boring to say it could go either way. But it could go either way, because it always can. So: boring response, sorry.

    With that out of the way:

    I don’t think defense will be an issue – no one is outright Kyle Schwarber horrible (or am I forgetting Cuddyer’s hackwork? Perhaps, but with Duffy the only KC southpaw, I figure this won’t be much of an issue), and Murphy was actually quite decent in the NLCS. Flores could make a mistake or two, but it’s all down to whether it happens at a critical point or not. The odds are with him over the course of several games.

    Offense-wise, there are enough good bats on the Mets to score runs every game; it’s reasonable to expect one or two players to shine in most of the games. With good pitching that will be more than enough contribution. If Uribe is available to DH, so much the better.

    Ultimately, it may come down to how much the Mets can avoid using middle relievers, because I think KC will feast on them. If the starters do well, the Mets will do likewise. If not, KC probably wins.

    But return to my first and most boring thoughts, because anything can happen. At least whoever wins ends a decades-long drought, and I can live with that if it’s KC. Probably. I’ll get back to you on that.

  3. Colin October 27, 2015 at 10:56 am
    Mets in 5. pitching, pitching, pitching.
    • Colin October 29, 2015 at 3:47 pm
      Nice call, Dummy. Mets in 7 – pitching, hitting, running, defense, and everything else.
  4. DanB October 27, 2015 at 11:12 am
    KC’s skill in hitting fastballs is overstated because they didn’t face enough 95+ mph pitches to make it statistically significant. Plus it has been Met’s secondary pitches that have been making the difference. KC’s tendency to make contact concerns me more because of the middle infield however it could also help keep pitch counts down. We don’t want to see Met middle relievers. If Murphy keeps hitting, the know he signed a deal with the devil. However the Mets offense has relied on a hot streaky hitter all year. Wouldn’t surprise me to see someone else step forward. If someone does, Mets in six. If nobody does, and especially if Met pitchers get tired, KC in seven.
  5. gary s October 27, 2015 at 7:28 pm
    If Mets score 4 runs a game, they win 90 per cent of time. So scoring 4 runs or more 4 times in a 7 game series should do the trick. So will strike one. The stuff about KC hitting 95 MPH fastballs will be negated if our starters get ahead in count and throw secondary pitches for strikes. The Cubbies took a lot of defensive swings when behind in counts. Hard to win ballgames that way. The same formula wins it for the Mets in 6.