DYK: Top facts about Mets-Royals matchup
No matter what happens over the next week and a half, one World Series participant will snap a title drought dating back to the mid-1980s.
The Mets, who clinched their spot in the Fall Classic with a sweep of the Cubs, last won the title in 1986. The Royals, who dispatched the Blue Jays in six games in the American League Championship Series, haven't won it all since '85. Game 1 of the World Series is Tuesday (air time 7:30 p.m. ET, game time 8 p.m. on FOX) at Kauffman Stadium.
Here are 10 critical facts and figures you need to know about a World Series showdown featuring two sides craving a return to glory:
• The Mets-Royals matchup represents the seventh time in history that two teams will meet in the Fall Classic riding World Series droughts of at least 29 years. The last occurrence was in 2010, when the Giants, who hadn't won since 1954, knocked off the Rangers -- whose franchise history dates to 1961 and who remain without a title. It also happened in 2005 (White Sox-Astros), '02 (Angels-Giants), 1995 (Braves-Indians), '75 (Reds-Red Sox) and '72 (A's-Reds).
• Game 1 of the World Series will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 27 -- a special date in the histories of these two franchises. The Mets won their last title on Oct. 27, 1986, defeating the Red Sox in Game 7. Exactly one year earlier, the Royals clinched their most recent title with an 11-0 rout of the Cardinals in Game 7.
• The Mets and Royals don't have much of a history together. They've never met in the Fall Classic, and even during the regular season, they've only squared off nine times. In fact, there's no team the Royals have faced fewer times, while the Mets have only played the White Sox fewer times (seven). Overall, the Royals are 5-4 against the Mets, including a victory in their last meeting on Aug. 4, 2013. But the only Mets player in the starting lineups for both that game and Game 4 of the NLCS was second baseman Daniel Murphy.
• Heading into the Fall Classic, the hottest hitter for each team is a middle infielder. The Mets' Murphy is riding a postseason-record six-game home run streak, while Kansas City's Alcides Escobar tops this year's postseason leaderboard with 17 hits. Each took home his respective League Championship Series MVP Award, marking only the second time ever that two middle infielders won the award in the same year. In 1980, the Royals' Frank White and the Phillies' Manny Trillo earned the honors.
• The Royals are the eighth team in history to return to the Fall Classic a season after losing it in Game 7. Of the previous seven, five went on to win the title -- most recently the 1961 Yankees, who cruised past the Reds after dropping Game 7 to the Pirates on Bill Mazeroski's walk-off homer a year earlier. In 1992, the Braves returned to the World Series after losing in seven games the year before, but they lost to the Blue Jays in six. Overall, teams making a return trip to the World Series after losing the year before are 13-12.
• Since Major League Baseball added the Division Series in 1995, the Mets are the 18th team to advance to the World Series with two or fewer postseason losses. Eleven of the previous 17 went on to win the World Series -- and three of them did so in a sweep. The Mets, however, lay claim to one of those losses. They had only dropped two games in the National League postseason in 2000 before losing to the Yankees.
• The Royals certainly did their part to secure home-field advantage. Not only did Kansas City boast an MLB-high seven All-Stars, but the club's players performed well in the Midsummer Classic, too. Royals hitters combined to go 3-for-8 -- including a massive performance by Lorenzo Cain, who went 2-for-3 with a two-out RBI double. Reliever Wade Davis, meanwhile, threw a scoreless eighth and struck out two. The Mets, on the other hand, only had one All-Star, but he may have had the most impressive night of anyone. Right-hander Jacob deGrom pitched the sixth inning and struck out the side on 10 pitches.
• New York will be facing a very different type of club from its two NL postseason opponents, who relied heavily on the long ball. The Dodgers scored 44.5 percent of their runs via the home run during the regular season, the most in the NL, while the Cubs finished third at 39.9 percent. The Royals, meanwhile, plated 724 runs during the season, but only 218 scored on long balls. With just 30.1 percent of its offense coming from home runs, Kansas City ranked last in the AL.
• The only player in this year's Fall Classic to have played for both teams is Royals pitcher Chris Young. The 6-foot-10 right-hander spent two seasons with New York (2011 and '12), going 5-9 with a 3.76 ERA. Young didn't appear in a big league game in '13 and played for the Mariners in '14 before signing a one-year deal with the Royals in March. He went 11-6 with a 3.06 ERA during the season.
• If the World Series goes the distance, Game 7 will be played on Nov. 4, equaling the mark for the latest game ever on the calendar. Game 7 in 2001 and Game 6 in '09 were also played on Nov. 4.
• For the second straight year, the Fall Classic will begin at Kauffman Stadium. It's the first time since 1934-35 -- Detroit's Navin Field -- that a ballpark will host Game 1 of the World Series in consecutive seasons.
• Whichever club comes out on the winning end of Game 1 will have recent history on its side. Teams that have taken the opener have gone on to win 23 of the last 27 World Series. The only teams to overcome an 0-1 deficit and win the title in that span are the 1992 Blue Jays, '96 Yankees, 2002 Angels and the '09 Yankees. Overall, the winner of Game 1 has won the World Series 69 out of 110 times (62.7 percent).
• The Mets have won five straight playoff games, which is tied for the franchise's longest postseason winning streak. They also won five in a row from Oct. 5-12 in 2000. The Royals, meanwhile, are 18-8 (.692) in the playoffs over the last two years.
• Murphy has homered seven times so far this postseason, putting him one home run shy of tying the MLB record for most in a single postseason. And thanks to Murphy, the Mets have established a franchise playoff record with 14 homers. The previous high was 12, set in 1969.
• Kanas City's Cain has reached base safely in 15 straight postseason games, dating back to Game 4 of the 2014 World Series. He's one game short of Amos Otis' club record. Cain has a ways to go for the MLB record, however, which was set at 31 by Detroit's Miguel Cabrera from 2011-13.