The Big Apple takes on Cow Town for all the marbles as the Mets & Royals meet in World Series 2015. These two look evenly matched, and the MLB odds agree. How is this capper betting Tuesday's opener?
World Series Game 1 Odds
As of this writing the best MLB odds we could find for Game 1 on Kansas City with Edinson Volquez was the -103 offered at BetOnline, while New York with Matt Harvey could be found at -102 at 5Dimes. Also, BetOnline was listing the Royals at -103 to win this World Series, while Bookmaker was listing the Mets at -107.
World Series Betting Preview: Game 1 Set-Up
Kansas City won the American League last season and took San Francisco to seven games in the World Series, before succumbing. But many “experts” and a decent portion of the betting public figured the Royals for a fluke. KC began this season getting 5/1 to win the AL Central, 15/1 to repeat as American League champs and upwards of 35/1 to win the World Series.
But the Royals grabbed an early lead in the Central and ran away with the division title, going 97-65 to win the division by 12 games, earning the top seed for the AL playoffs. KC then outlasted Houston in an AL divisional-round series three games to two, then knocked off Toronto four games to two in the AL Championship Series.
On the season Kansas City ranked seventh in the Majors in scoring at 4.5 runs per game, 10th in team ERA at 3.73 and fifth in run differential at +83.
Meanwhile, after going 79-83 last season, its sixth straight losing campaign, New York went off this season getting around 6/1 to win the NL East, 15/1 to win the National League pennant and 30/1 to win the World Series. The Mets then overtook Washington in the divisional race in August and went on to win the East by seven games.
New York then upset Los Angeles in an NL divisional-round series three games to two, beating both Clay Kershaw and Zack Greinke along the way, then swept a hot Chicago Cubs team in four games in the NL Championship Series.
On the season New York ranked 17th in scoring at 4.2 RPG, fourth in team ERA at 3.43 and eighth in run differential at +70.
Thanks to the American League's win in this year's All-Star game Kansas City owns home-field advantage for this series. Which means New York gains a bat for the games played in KC.
These teams last met two seasons ago, when the Royals took two of three games from the Mets at Citi Field. But that seems like a long time ago, when it comes to betting these two teams.
Game 1 Pitching Match-Up
Volquez (13-9, 3.55), by our strict standards, went 16-for-33 on quality starts this season, finishing by allowing seven earned runs over his last 20 innings. He then started Game 3 of the ALDS against Houston, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings of a 4-2 Kansas City loss. He then took the call for Game 1 of the ALCS against Toronto and tossed six innings of two-hit, shutout ball against that tough Blue Jays lineup in a 5-0 Royals victory. But he then started Game 5 of that series and got nicked for five runs in five innings of a 7-1 KC defeat, although a couple of those runs scored after he left the game.
On the season Kansas City is 23-13 in games Volquez has started.
Last year, pitching for Pittsburgh, Volquez started twice against New York, allowing just two runs through 11 innings; the Pirates split those two games.
Harvey (13-8, 2.71) went 19-for-29 on quality starts this season, and two for his last three, finishing the campaign by allowing just two ER through his last 17 2/3 innings. He then started Game 3 of the NLDS against Los Angeles, giving up three runs – two earned – and seven hits through five innings of that 13-7 New York victory. Five days later, 10 days ago, Harvey started Game 1 of the NLCS against Chicago and set the tone for Mets pitching in that series, tossing 7 2/3 innings, giving up just two runs and four hits, striking out nine, in a 4-2 New York win.
For the season the Mets are 19-12 in Harvey's starts.
This will be Harvey's first-ever start against the Royals.
Game 1 Batting Splits
New York ranked 21st in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .312 team on-base percentage, and 20th with a .397 team slugging percentage. Also, in 10 games this season played in American League ballparks the Mets scored a total of 34 runs.
Kansas City, meanwhile, ranked 11th against righties with a .321 team OBP and sixth with a .416 team slugging percentage.
Free World Series Game 1 Pick
We'll give Harvey a short edge in the pitching match-up, but Kansas City owns an edge with the sticks and in the comparison of the bullpens, even without Greg Holland. So for our free MLB pick on Game 1 of this World Series we'll take the home-standing Royals.
MLB Pick: Kansas City -103 at BetOnline