The Royals held serve at home to open up a 2-0 lead in the World Series over the Mets, but the scenery shifts to New York the next three games and Game 3 may be lower scoring.
The home team won the first two games of the 2015 World Series with both games going ‘over’, but it can be a lower scoring affair Friday night with a change in scenery as Yordano Ventura and the American League Champion Kansas City Royals this time hit the road to pay a visit to fellow righty Noah Syndergaard and the National League Champion New York Mets for Game 3 from Citi Field in Flushing, NY at 8:05 ET on FOX. Kansas City leads this World Series 2-0.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -123.
Royals Not Intimidated
All of the hype before this series surrounded the great pitching staff of the Mets, with most of that hype well deserved, but the Royals have not been impressed while winning the first two games in Kansas City, especially in a 7-1 win in Game 2 in which they did not swing and miss even once when the count reached two strikes vs. Jacob deGrom, who averaged 9.66 strikeouts per nine innings during the regular season!
That great pitching is the reason that the Mets cannot really be counted out of this series yet even after being the losing MLB picks twice on the road, as they must now follow suit and hold serve on their end with the next three games here at the Big Apple. And while it is disconcerting that deGrom could not put the Royals away with a fastball averaging over 95 MPH, perhaps it will be a different story tonight with a pitcher that throws even harder.
Syndergaard to the Rescue?
Syndergaard may be considered the third starter on the Mets staff, but he has the best velocity in the rotation hitting 100 MPH quite a bit this season and many other teams would gladly have him as their ace. He last pitched in Game 2 of the NLCS vs. the Chicago Cubs, and all that Noah did that night was beat probable Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta 4-1 while allowing just one run and three hits with nine strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
Syndergaard is the hardest throwing of a Mets rotation that features four flame throwers all in their 20s, and they all have great control as Noah now has 186 strikeouts vs. just 37 walks in 163 innings combining the regular season and playoffs. Yes, the Royals deserve a ton of credit for consistently catching up to deGrom’s fastball on Wednesday, but let us now see if they can do the same at about 5 MPH faster on average.
And remember Syndergaard has been especially tough here at Citi Field all year where he is now 8-2 with a 2.41 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and an amazing ratio of 95 strikeouts vs. 11 walks in 89.2 innings.
Now, we have never been big fans of Ventura as we have always found him overrated, and he flopped for the most part this year when he was counted on to be the Royals’ ace at the start of the year, as he finished the regular season with a 4.08 ERA and 1.30 WHIP despite his 13-8 record, not to mention often showing immaturity by being demonstrative on the mound oftentimes following teammates’ miscues.
Nonetheless, the light seemed to go on in Ventura’s head in September, perhaps due to relaxing after the Royals acquired Johnny Cueto, thus taking some pressure off with Yordano no longer having to be an ace. Regardless of the reason, Ventura has suddenly now allowed three runs or less in eight consecutive starts including allowing just one run and four hits in 5.1 innings of the decisive Game 6 of the ALCS vs. the Toronto Blue Jays.
Ventura may not go much beyond five innings, but that is all the Royal ask of him with the best bullpen in baseball and that bullpen is well rested after Cueto dominated the Mets’ bats in Game 2 in a Complete Game two-hitter in which both hits were softly hit off the bat of Lucas Duda.
Trending the ‘under’
Finally, there are more than a few angles supporting the ‘under’ in this spot, as it has gone 10-3 in Syndergaard’s last 13 home starts, 16-5-1 in the Mets’ last 22 playoff home games, 9-1 in the Royals’ last 10 games after allowing two runs or less in their previous game and 5-2 in Ventura’s last seven starts overall.
Look for Syndergaard to do his part in an attempt to get the Mets back in this series and for Ventura and the Kansas City bullpen to do their best to match it, resulting in an ‘under’ when Kansas City visits New York for World Series Game 3 from Flushing on Friday.
MLB Pick: Royals, Mets ‘under’ 7 (-123)