If there’s one storyline worth following, it would have to be the Kansas City Royals and their improbable run leading to the American League Championship Series. After reaching the World Series in 1985, the team has gone on to miss the succeeding 28 postseasons up until this year. This is by far the longest postseason drought of any MLB Team in history. This is also the reason why the Royals have been turning heads as of late. After beating out the Oakland A’s, they immediately set to work on an upset against the first seed Angels. Of course, the Royals got a lot of help from the Angels hitters’ inability to hit the ball when it mattered most. By beating the Angels, the Royals also set an MLB record of winning three straight extra-innings games.
Will there be aBeltway World Series?
The question now is can the Royals win over an equally hot Baltimore Orioles team that’s won three games in convincing fashion against the 3rd seed Detroit Tigers? If we go by the notion that the top seeds have the highest chances of winning in both the ALCS and NLCS then we can probably expect a Beltway World Series (Nationals versus Orioles). However, some pundits are tabbing the Royals over the Orioles citing the former having an edge in terms of its starters, lineup, and bullpen. The Nationals on the other hand are facing elimination as of this writing against the Giants who were able to steal games 1 and 2 at Nationals Park. For a Beltway World Series to happen, the Nationals will have to win its last two games against the Giants and then deal with either the Cardinals or Dodgers.
Can the Cardinals Dominate NL Again?
The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the most successful National League teams in the last decade or so. How successful are they? If two World Series trophies, four pennants, eight division titles and three Wild Cards aren’t enough to qualify as successful then we don’t what would. Probably the only team in the 3 major sports leagues that’s more successful than them are the Spurs in San Antonio. Will they be able to go all the way this year though? So far, the Cardinals are doing quite well. They’re currently facing a persistent and dangerous Dodgers team that’s clearly not getting the best out of star outfielder Yasiel Puig. If Puig doesn’t start hitting the balls thrown his way at a consistent basis, the Cardinals just might make it to the NLCS again.
Of course, the overarching storyline with any postseason is always going to be who’ll win it all. The Royals have momentum going for them with their win over the Angels. Additionally, the last time they were in the postseason in 1985 they were able to win it all against the Cardinals who are also playing their best as of now. Considering the history between the two teams, wouldn’t a Royals-Cardinals World Series make for a pretty interesting turn of events this postseason? Well, this will all depend on how both teams will fare against their respective matchups. Kansas City only has to worry about Orioles while St. Louis will have to put away the Dodgers and then deal with the winner of the Nationals-Giants series.