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A Throwback to the 2015 Royals World Series

The series was played between October 27 and November 1, with the Kansas City Royals winning the series four games to one, clinching the team's second World Series and first since the 1985 I-70 series against the St. Louis Cardinals. 

The Royals became the first team since the Oakland Athletics in the 1989 World Series to win the World Series after losing in the previous year, falling to the San Francisco Giants in seven games. It was also the first of just two World Series played between two expansion teams in MLB history: the other was Astros/Nationals in 2019. Salvador Pérez was named the 2015 World Series Most Valuable Player, hitting .364 with a pair each of doubles and RBI, but his defensive effort was even more critical to Kansas City’s success. Pérez, known primarily as an offensive catcher, turned in some of the best performances of his career behind the plate, blocking pitches with utter disregard for his own livelihood and calling games with aplomb for the Royals’ pitching staff, which he coaxed to a 2.94 ERA with 46 strikeouts across 52 innings, allowing just .942 walks and hits per inning pitched.

Another hero on the team was switch-hitting utility man Ben Zobrist, who went on to repeat his performance as a versatile defender with a plus bat the next season, named the 2016 World Series MVP as he helped the Chicago Cubs win their first world championship in 108 years. 

Kansas City held the home-field advantage after the American League won the All-Star Game 6-3, the second to last season in which the Midsummer Classic winner determined who would host the majority of the World Series. 

It’s a shame that sports betting wasn’t available in 2015, as preseason selections listed Kansas City around +2200 to win the World Series after coming within a game of doing so the previous fall, a line that fans would’ve loved to take advantage of using a BetMGM Kansas bonus code.

The 2015 Fall Classic began with a bang. Shortstop Alcides Escobar was named the American League Championship Series MVP after hitting .478 with two doubles, a triple, and an otherworldly OPS of 1.134 as the Royals downed the Toronto Blue Jays in six games.

The speedster picked up exactly where he left off, drilling Mets’ starter Matt Harvey’s first pitch of the game to the gap in left-center field. The ball bounced off of New York outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who inadvertently kicked it away, giving Escobar time to round the bases for a standing inside-the-park home run.

The Mets took a one-run lead in the top of the eighth inning before left fielder Alex Gordon hit a home run with one out in the ninth to extend the game. Kansas City ended up winning in the 14th inning of an Eric Hosmer sacrifice fly.

Kansas City played their most complete game of the series in Game 2, cruising to a 7-1 victory behind a complete game two-hitter by Johnny Cueto. The Royals jumped out to a 3-2 second-inning lead in Game 3, the first contest of the series played in Queens, but their pitchers had an uncharacteristic off night, hemorrhaging runs in a 9-3 loss. Kansas City trailed late in Game 4 but put up three runs in the eighth, taking advantage of a fielding error and a pair of RBI base hits to win 5-3.

The Royals again needed late-game heroics in game 5, trailing 2-0 in the top of the ninth inning. Harvey stayed in two batters too long, giving up a walk and an RBI double to lead off the ninth, Jeurys Familia blew his third save of the series as the Royals sent the game to extra innings. Kansas City went on to put up a five-spot in the top of the 12th inning to secure their second World Series championship.

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