Murphy stays at 3-hole; No changes for KC
The lineups are set for Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET air time on FOX, 8 p.m. game time) at Kauffman Stadium. It is the Mets' first World Series game in 15 years and a day, having last appeared in the Fall Classic against the Yankees on Oct. 26, 2000, while the Royals are back after falling short to the Giants last year.
Kansas City will have right-hander Edinson Volquez on the mound, with the Mets giving the ball to right-hander Matt Harvey. Volquez has enjoyed a velocity boost in his three postseason starts, feeding off the increased energy and averaging 95.5 mph in the postseason. Harvey, meanwhile, has tossed aside his innings limitations and will have the opportunity to match his own high-octane stuff against a Royals lineup known for clubbing it.
The winner of Game 1 in the World Series has gone on to win it all in 23 of the past 27 instances. Kauffman Stadium is the first ballpark to host Game 1 of the World Series in consecutive seasons since Detroit's Navin Field did so in 1934-35.
To win this series, Kansas City will need to accomplish something that the Dodgers and Cubs both were unable to do: contain Daniel Murphy, who has had to confirm this month that he indeed hails from Planet Earth. Murphy has homered in a Major League record six consecutive postseason games, while batting .421 this postseason.
Against Royals pitchers, Murphy has had his most success against Volquez, batting .400 (6-for-15) with a double and two RBIs.
Batting second and playing third base, David Wright will finally participate in his first World Series game after 1,546 regular-season contests. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that's the most games played by one player with a single franchise before reaching the World Series since first baseman Todd Helton played in 1,578 games for the Rockies before they were swept by the Red Sox in the 2007 Fall Classic.
"I knew that if I had gone somewhere else and won right away, it wouldn't have felt nearly as good or nearly as satisfying as doing it here for a team that I grew up rooting for, for a team that drafted me when I was 18 years old," Wright said. "It's almost like a second family to me."
1. Curtis Granderson, RF
2. Wright, 3B
3. Murphy, 2B
4. Yoenis Cespedes, CF
5. Lucas Duda, 1B
6. Travis d'Arnaud, C
7. Michael Conforto, LF
8. Wilmer Flores, SS
9. Kelly Johnson, DH
Sticking with what works
The Royals have plugged in the same lineup for every one of their postseason games, trotting out the same nine who were dispatched in the deciding Game 6 of the American League Championship Series against the Blue Jays. Manager Ned Yost saw no reason to shake things up against the Mets.
"They've got that knack of putting the ball in play. They don't strike out," Yost said. "They don't strike out a lot. They've got short, simple approaches. We play in a big park, which is not conducive to power. We don't swing for the fences. We have power, we can hit homers, but for the most part, we just try to stay short and quick and drive the gaps, and our guys do a good job with that."
Kansas City will start out with Alcides Escobar, Ben Zobrist and Lorenzo Cain batting in the top three slots, followed by the power tandem of Eric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales. The only batter in the Royals' lineup who has faced Harvey is right fielder Alex Rios (1-for-3).
1. Escobar, SS
2. Zobrist, 2B
3. Cain, CF
4. Hosmer, 1B
5. Morales, DH
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Salvador Perez, C
8. Alex Gordon, LF
9. Rios, RF