The World Series begins in Kansas City on Tuesday night, with the Royals and Mets poised to win their first world championship since 1985 and 1986, respectively.
Jason Giambi, one of the best hitters of his generation, stopped by CBS Sports Radio to preview the series.
“Kansas City has really come alive with all these young players, and they’ve done an unbelievable job of putting their team together and (have advanced to) back-to-back World Series,” the former AL MVP and five-time All-Star said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “What you just try to do is find that place you can relax and try to make those good at bats. That’s when you sit everybody down and you say, ‘A walk is as good as a base hit.’ Then it takes that monkey off your back of, ‘I need to get a hit.’ Because I think that’s what happens in the playoffs. You start taking those at-bats and you want to get a hit so bad, but before you know it, you’re chasing bad pitches and you’e hitting for a low average because you’re putting too much pressure on yourself.”
The Royals and Mets both have the ability to put runs on the board – in bunches. Kansas City has a decided edge in the bullpen department, while many analysts feel the Mets’ starting pitching is a deeper, better and more consistent.
Consistent being the key word. Which Johnny Cueto, for example, will show up in this series? The one who pitched the Royals to two wins over the Astros, or the one who got rocked for eight runs in two innings against the Blue Jays?
The Mets, on the other hand, are as steady as they come with Matt Harvey Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard – all power pitchers.
Perhaps this is why Vegas sees the series as a pick-em.
“I told a lot of guys out here in Vegas what I thought before the playoffs even started,” Giambi said. “I’m like, listen, you look at how the Mets are built, they’re unbelievable. With those three guys, four guys on the mound, the back end of their bullpen – that’s a special group. They can put runs on the board. (Daniel) Murphy had an incredible postseason. The only reason why I think it’s a pick-em is because you got the Royals who are this contact team, they can steal bases, score runs – find a way to win every single night – and they have this team chemistry. These young kids have grown up together for a lot of years. I always thought this team would happen a few years before this. You kept seeing the talent. They just didn’t know how to quite put it together. They have finally pieced it together. They can be on an unbelievable run for the next few years.”