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World Series Preview: Mets vs. Royals

We would, of course, have liked to see the Cubs facing the Royals.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

There will be a game thread for World Series Game 1 later today, but I wanted to post a few notes about this first all-expansion-team World Series between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets.

Think about that for a moment. This is the 110th World Series. Expansion teams have been around for more than 50 years -- in the Mets' case, this is their 54th season, for the Royals, their 47th. Expansion teams have played in 21 World Series and won eight of them. Seems as if this sort of matchup would have happened by now. More on this in this Hardball Times article.

The Mets, you are familiar with from their dominant sweep of the Cubs, in which the Mets never trailed, not even once. It's just the sixth time in major-league history that a team swept a best-of-seven series without ever trailing. (The Cubs did manage to tie the score twice, 1-1 in the top of the fifth in Game 1, and 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth in Game 3.) New York's young pitching staff allowed the fifth-fewest runs in the major leagues this year... five more runs than the Cubs' staff. (Oh, well.)

The Royals have been here before, coming within one run of winning the whole thing in Game 7 last year against the Giants. They should have known that the even-numbered-year pattern of Giants wins wouldn't allow any other result in 2014. (Let's hope the Cubs can break that string in 2016.) Kansas City dominated the A.L. Central most of the year and has showed a penchant for late-inning comebacks in this year's postseason (four times coming from behind to win in the sixth inning or later), though those came against bullpens not nearly as good as the Mets'.

Mets manager Terry Collins is managing not only in his first World Series, but his first postseason. At 66, he's the oldest manager in baseball this year and the second-oldest to be a first-time World Series manager (Jack McKeon of the Marlins, at 73 in 2003, was the oldest first-time WS manager). One more "oldest" note -- if 42-year-old Bartolo Colon appears in this World Series, he'll become the second-oldest player to appear in his first World Series. Jamie Moyer made his World Series debut at 45, in 2008. Colon did play for the 1997 Indians, who made the World Series, but did not pitch in that postseason.

You'll hear a lot about how long it's been since either of these teams have won a World Series -- 30 years for the Royals, 29 for the Mets. Pikers. Try waiting 107 108 years.

Enough of the "oldest" remarks. What's going to happen here?

The Royals' experience and their lockdown bullpen will win this Series for them, Kansas City's first since 1985. Surprisingly, Ned Yost has gone from the butt of jokes to being seen as the leader of a well-respected coaching staff.

Royals in six. What's your opinion? Vote in the poll. The game thread for World Series Game 1 will post at 6 p.m. CT.