Some sloppy defense by the Mets in Game 4 leaves the Royals just one win shy of winning the 2015 World Series, but look for New York to now send the series back to Kansas City.
The 2015 World Series could come to an end Sunday night, but we suspect that this series will get extended at least one more game when Edinson Volquez and the American League Champion Kansas City Royals again pay a visit to fellow right-hander Matt Harvey and the New York Mets for Game 5 from Citi Field in Flushing, NY at 8:15 ET in a game televised nationally on FOX, with Kansas City leading the four-out-of-seven series 3-1.
The run line at Pinnacle Sports has New York as a home favorite for this contest with the current line at -1½ with odds of +161.
Costly Eighth Inning for Mets
After the home teams won the first the first three games of this World Series, the Royals were the first team to break serve here in New York in Game 4 Saturday as an eighth-inning error by the Mets’ NLDS MVP Daniel Murphy led to three Kansas City runs and a 5-3 Royals’ win, giving them a 3-1 stranglehold of a lead in this series.
So while much of the talk before this series centered around the Mets’ superior starting pitching, the ultimate reason why New York could eventually turn out to be the losing MLB pick in the series is its inferior defense relative to Kansas City, especially in the middle of the infield. Still, the Mets do not figure to go down without a fight, so we are looking for them to send this series back to Kansas City and avoid watching the Royals celebrate at Citi Field.
Harvey Can Save the Day
Not only that but we like the value of the Mets winning by at least two runs here in what is a pitching rematch from Game 1. That was the game the Mets led 4-3 entering the bottom of the ninth inning when New York closer Jeurys Familia incurred the first of his two blown saves in this series after having not blown one since July, immediately setting the tone of this Fall Classic.
Still, Harvey pitched well even while allowing an inside-the-park home run to Alcides Escobar on his first pitch of the game on a misplayed ball in the outfield that should have been caught. He ended up allowing three runs on five hits in six innings, but Harvey deserved a better fate.
Now he gets a chance for atonement at home, and while Harvey is one of the best pitchers in baseball regardless of the venue, he has been particularly dominant in Flushing this year going 10-3 combing the season and the playoffs with a 2.29 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 132 strikeouts vs. just 20 walks on his home mound with the Mets as a team going 13-6 in those starts.
Mourning Loss of Father
We are not particularly high on Volquez as he outperformed his peripheral numbers this season and was coming back to earth late in the year by posting a 5.18 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and a .304 batting average allowed during the month of September, but to his credit he has pitched at home during this post-season including matching Harvey by allowing three runs on six hits in six innings in Game 1.
Unfortunately Volquez has not been nearly as good on the road, allowing a total of eight earned runs in 10.2 road inning during the playoffs while allowing eight hits plus eight walks, and he has a losing record of 5-7 away from home for the entire year with a very mediocre 3.90 ERA and 1.39 WHIP.
On a tragic note, Volquez was informed after Game 1 of the death of his father earlier in the day, and he immediately left for the Dominican Republic to attend the funeral, not rejoining the team until yesterday. While such events make the game of baseball seem extremely mundane, he still has a job to do and, to that end, breaking from his normal routine between starts in regard to “throw days” and such could have a negative impact on his outing tonight.
Nice Run Line Record
Finally, although you may not realize it, the Mets are actually 91-83 vs. the run line this year combining the regular season and playoffs for a profit of +17.73 units with a base of one unit per play, not only because of great pitching but also because improved offense after the All-Star break with the acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes also resulted in more multiple-run wins.
With the money line on this game a tad higher than we would like with Harvey trying to stave off elimination for the Mets, we feel that the nice price on the run line makes for nice value when New York hosts Kansas City in what it hopes will not be the final baseball game of the year in World Series Game 5 Sunday from Flushing.
MLB Pick: Mets -1½ (+161)