A look at the best-of-seven World Series between the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals:
Schedule: Game 1, Tuesday, at Kansas City; Game 2, Wednesday, at Kansas City; Game 3, Friday, at New York; Game 4, Saturday, at New York; x-Game 5, Sunday, Nov. 1, at New York; x-Game 6, Tuesday, Nov. 3, at Kansas City; x-Game 7, Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Kansas City.
Season Series: Did not play.
Mets: RF Curtis Granderson (.259, 26 HRs, 70 RBIs, 98 runs, 91 BBs, 11 SBs, 151 Ks), 3B David Wright (.289, 5, 17 in 152 ABs), 2B Daniel Murphy (.281, 14, 73, 38 2Bs), LF Yoenis Cespedes (.291, 35, 105, 101 runs, 42 2Bs with Tigers and Mets), 1B Lucas Duda (.244, 27, 73, 33 2Bs, 138 Ks), C Travis d'Arnaud (.268, 12, 41 in 239 ABs), DH Michael Conforto (.270, 9, 26 in 174 ABs), SS Wilmer Flores (.263, 16, 59), CF Juan Lagares (.259, 6, 41).
Royals: SS Alcides Escobar (.257, 4, 32), 2B Ben Zobrist (.276, 13, 56 with Athletics and Royals), CF Lorenzo Cain (.307, 16, 72), 1B Eric Hosmer (.297, 18, 93), DH Kendrys Morales (.290, 22, 106), 3B Mike Moustakas (.284, 22, 82), C Salvador Perez (.260, 21, 70), LF Alex Gordon (.271, 13, 48), RF Alex Rios (.255, 4, 32).
Mets: RH Matt Harvey (13-8, 2.71 ERA, 188 Ks, 189 1-3 IP), RH Jacob deGrom (14-8, 2.54 ERA, 205 Ks, 191 IP), RH Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.24, 166 Ks, 150 IP), LH Steven Matz (4-0, 2.27 in 6 starts).
Royals: RH Johnny Cueto (11-13, 3.44 with Reds and Royals), RH Edinson Volquez (13-9, 3.55), RH Yordano Ventura (13-8, 4.08), RH Chris Young (11-6, 3.06).
Mets: RH Jeurys Familia (2-2, 1.85, 43/48 saves, 76 games, 86 Ks, 78 IP), RH Tyler Clippard (5-4, 2.92, 19 saves with Athletics and Mets), RH Addison Reed (3-3, 3.38, 4 saves with Diamondbacks and Mets), RH Bartolo Colon (14-13, 4.16, 217 hits allowed, 24 BBs, 194 2-3 IP in 33 games, 31 starts), LH Jonathon Niese (9-10, 4.13 in 33 games, 29 starts, 176 2-3 IP), RH Hansel Robles (4-3, 3.67, 61 Ks, 54 IP), LH Sean Gilmartin (3-2, 2.67).
Royals: RH Wade Davis (8-1, 0.94, 17 saves), RH Kelvin Herrera (4-3, 2.71), RH Ryan Madson (1-2, 2.13), RH Luke Hochevar (1-1, 3.73), LH Franklin Morales (4-2, 3.18), LH Danny Duffy (7-8, 4.08), RH Kris Medlen (6-2, 4.01 in 15 games, 8 starts).
These teams have played only nine interleague games, with the Royals holding a 5-4 advantage, but it's going to be a while before they face anyone else. In an unusual bit of scheduling, the Mets open next season with two games at Kansas City in early April. ... The last time they squared off was 2013, when the Royals took two of three in their lone visit to Citi Field. They also played a three-game set at Shea Stadium in 2002. ... New York played at Kauffman Stadium in 2004. This marks the first World Series between two clubs born in the expansion-era 1960s. ... Kansas City won its only World Series crown in 1985. New York's last championship came the following year. ...
Cespedes said he expects to be ready for Game 1 despite an ailing left shoulder. He left the National League Championship Series (NLCS) finale and received a cortisone injection the next day. ... Cueto was 3-4 with a 4.02 ERA in 11 starts against the Mets when he pitched for Cincinnati. Medlen was 5-1 with a 2.15 ERA in 19 games, including 9 starts, as a member of the National Leage East-rival Braves. ... Morales had 4 homers and 10 RBIs in the American League playoffs but might find himself on the bench at Citi Field with no designated hitter allowed in the National League ballpark. ... Neither Familia nor Davis gave up a run in the playoffs. Davis, Herrera and Hochevar have allowed one earned run in 20 1-3 innings this postseason. ... Young went 5-9 in 24 starts for the Mets from 2011-12.
While the Royals have most of their key players back from last year's American League champs, the Mets are short on World Series experience. Granderson made it in 2006 with Detroit and went 2 for 21 (.095) with 7 strikeouts against St. Louis. Reserve infielder Juan Uribe, who owns a pair of World Series rings, hopes to return from a chest cartilage injury that's sidelined him since late September. ... Bret Saberhagen, David Cone and Carlos Beltran are stars who played for both teams. ... Opening odds on the Series were dead even at the Wynn Las Vegas.
Mets: After six straight losing seasons, the Mets (90-72) finally turned it around and won their fifth National League pennant. Riding an incredible playoff power surge from Murphy, they reached the World Series for the first time in 15 years -- the longest absence in team history. ... The National League East champs rebuilt around prized young pitchers such as Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard and Familia -- the electric arms that kept New York within striking distance this season until the front office completely transformed an anemic offense in late July. On the same day Conforto was called up directly from the minor leagues, professional bats Uribe and Kelly Johnson were acquired from Atlanta in a deal that added much-needed depth. A week later, Cespedes was obtained at the July 31 trade deadline and d'Arnaud came off the disabled list. Flores hit a game-winning homer against Washington, two nights after tearing up on the field when he thought he'd been traded. That made him an instant fan favorite, and the Mets took off. Michael Cuddyer and Wright returned from injuries in August, and suddenly New York had a potent lineup to go with all that pitching.
One of the worst offenses in the majors became one of the very best from July 25 on. ... Two pivotal sweeps of Washington helped the Mets overtake the heavily favored Nationals in the National League East and then pull away in September for their sixth division title. That put Terry Collins, at 66 the oldest skipper in the majors, in the postseason for the first time as a big league manager. ... Back in the playoffs for the first time since 2006, the Mets won twice at Dodger Stadium to take a testy National League Division Series (NLDS) in five games. Then they completed a four-game NLCS sweep of the wild-card Cubs, who went 7-0 against New York during the regular season.
Along the way, the Mets beat a string of accomplished aces: Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta. ... Flores took over at shortstop again when Ruben Tejada broke his leg on a late takeout slide by Chase Utley of the Dodgers during the NLDS. ... Streaky all season, Duda broke out of a bad slump with a homer, 2 doubles and 5 RBIs in the NLCS clincher at Wrigley Field. Granderson had a .385 on-base percentage in the playoffs with 4 steals and 7 RBIs, while d'Arnaud had 3 homers and 6 RBIs. Wright was 5 for 30 (.167) with 12 Ks. ... Last season's NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 3 postseason outings. Harvey shut down the Cubs in the NLCS opener and won both his playoff starts.
Royals: After winning their second consecutive American League pennant, the resilient Royals are trying to take this year's run one step farther. They fell just short of a World Series championship last season with a Game 7 loss at home to San Francisco. ... The team's postseason appearance in 2014 ended a 29-year drought. ... Even without closer Greg Holland, who recently had Tommy John surgery, the bullpen remains among the best in baseball. Davis has become a dominant closer in his own right. ... Perez has 4 homers this postseason. He popped up for the final out in last year's World Series with the potential tying run on third base. ... Escobar was the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) after going 11 for 23 (.478) against the Blue Jays with 6 runs and 5 RBIs. Cain was the Most Valuable Player of last year's ALCS. Both were acquired in the trade that sent Greinke to Milwaukee in 2010. ...
Kansas City (95-67) won the American League Central division by 12 games for its first division title since taking the American League West in 1985. Then the Royals overcame a 2-1 series deficit to beat the wild-card Astros in the best-of-five American League Division Series (ALDS). ... Kansas City has rallied from four-run deficits in the eighth inning of elimination games each of the past two seasons, including Game 4 in Houston. ... Kansas City defeated hard-hitting Toronto in six games in the ALCS. ... Cueto, acquired midseason to win big games at the top of the rotation, has been an enigma this postseason. He allowed just 2 runs and 2 hits over 8 innings against Houston in Game 5 of the ALDS, then gave up 8 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks in 2 innings against Toronto. ...
Kansas City had three players hit 20 or more homers after none reached that plateau last season. ... Cain was fourth in the AL in wins above replacement (WAR). ... Kansas City had the third-best batting average (.269) in baseball and 10th-best ERA (3.73). ... The Royals had seven All-Stars this season, not counting manager Ned Yost and the entire coaching staff.
-- October Encore. Each team has a hitter coming off an astounding playoff performance. Murphy, who set a career high with 14 homers this season, has gone deep in a record six straight postseason games. The NLCS Most Valuable Player, who can become a free agent next month, batted .529 (9 for 17) against the Cubs and is hitting .421 with seven homers and 11 RBIs in nine postseason games overall. Escobar, the ALCS Most Valuable Player, batted .386 with five extra-base hits in the playoffs after struggling at the plate all season. A dazzling defender, he also became the first player to lead off four consecutive games in a postseason series with a hit. Escobar leads all players with 17 hits this postseason, one more than Murphy.
-- Heat Index. Led by their hard-throwing young aces, the Mets delivered 5,752 pitches clocked at 95 mph (152 kph) or better this season, by far the most in the majors, according to STATS. (The Royals were second at 4,315). Kansas City counters with a lineup that struck out the fewest times of any team in the regular season and had the highest contact rate in the big leagues. Royals batters hit a major league-best .300 on heaters 95 mph or faster.