All good things must come to an end. Luckily for the Kansas City Royals, it looks as if all droughts must come to an end as well. After nearly three decades of being one the worst teams in MLB, the Royals are finally on their way back to the World Series after sweeping the Baltimore Orioles in four straight games.
Kansas City is on one of the hottest streaks in history. They have won all of their playoff games; which included a Wild Card matchup against Oakland, followed by sweeps of Los Angeles and Baltimore. And what might be the most impressive is that they are able to dig their way out of tough spots, as they’ve had plenty of close margins that required solid efforts on both offense and defense.
On Wednesday night, the Royals jumped out early to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. With Alcides Escobar and Norichika Aoki on base, Erik Hosmer hit a soft grounder that didn’t make it out of the diamond. However, Orioles’ catcher Caleb Joseph then had an error on the play, which allowed both Escobar and Aoki to score for the early lead in front of a sold-out Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
The play by Joseph was the only error on the evening, but it was all that Kansas City needed.
The Orioles would score in the third inning off a home-run from Ryan Flaherty. However, the Royals pitching staff was able to shut things down the rest of the way through and they only allowed four hits on the evening.
The Royals current 8-game winning streak is the longest playoff run in MLB history. The Colorado Rockies had a 7-game streak in 2007, as did the Reds in 1976, and the Orioles won 6 games in a row back in 1970. Though the Rockies lost to the Red Sox in 2007, the Reds and O’s were both able to win the World Series in their respective years. Now attention will shift to see if the Royals can keep their streak alive as well.
In the National League, the Giants won Game Four on Wednesday night and they now have a 3-1 series lead. So while their series will go at least one more game, it’s hard to say whether or not this is good for Kansas City. While some would argue that it’s an ideal amount of time for their players to get a rest and steady their emotions after such a long streak, others might suggest that you have to hit while the iron is hot and keep things rolling.
However, what might be more telling before the World Series starts is how the Royals have fared against both the Giants and Cardinals this past season. Kansas City is a combined 6-1 against San Francisco and St. Louis, so that could be more than enough to keep them feeling confident about their chances once the series gets started. Once the series is underway, be sure to check back with sportspicks.com for insider information and handicapper tips.
The Royals are certainly the Cinderella story of the MLB season. They started the season with 50/1 odds. Now they sit at a league-best 10/11, as they hope to win their first World Series since 1985. As for the two teams that they may play against, the Giants are at 3/2, and the Cardinals are at 6/1.