USA TODAY Sports
Royals lead series 3-1
Edinson Volquez takes the mound on Sunday while still grieving the death of his father as the Kansas City Royals try to win their first World Series title since 1985. The host New York Mets have their backs against the wall after the Royals scored three runs in the eighth inning on Saturday to post a 5-3 victory and take a 3-1 series lead.
Volquez started Game 1 on the same day his father died of heart failure and returned to the team shortly before Saturday’s contest, pronouncing himself ready to start Game 5. “I just want to thank God for my opportunity to be on the mound and show the world what I have to compete with the other team and give our team a chance to win,” Volquez said in a press conference held after Game 4. “I’m pretty sure my dad is going to be proud of me when I pitch.” Second baseman Daniel Murphy has been a postseason hero for the Mets, but his error aided Kansas City’s comeback win in Game 4 as the Royals capped the three-run uprising with run-scoring singles by Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez. “In the postseason, you can’t give away outs,” New York manager Terry Collins said afterward. “You’ve got to make outs. You can’t give good teams opportunities to score extra runs, because they can do it.”
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, FOX
LINE HISTORY: The Mets opened as -137 home favorites for Game 5 and were bet as high as -143, but have settled back down at the opening number. The total has held steady at its opening number of 7.0.
WEATHER REPORT: It should be a good niht for baseball in Queens. It should be partly cloudy with temperatures in teh high 50’s and a very slight three percent chance of rain. There will be a six mile per hour wind blowing out towards the right field foul pole.
UMPIRE REPORT: Alfonso Marquez will be the man calling balls and strikes for Game 5. Home teams went 18-11 and the totals went 15-12-2 O/U in his 29 games behind home plate this season. The Mets are 6-0 in their last six games with Marquez calling balls and strikes.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Edinson Volquez (1-2, 4.37 ERA) vs. Mets RH Matt Harvey (2-0, 3.38)
Volquez received a no-decision in Game 1, when he gave up three runs and six hits in six innings. He was away from the team for the better part of four days, but manager Ned Yost wasn’t concerned about the possibility that Volquez hadn’t done his typical between-start throwing. “It’s not a bad thing this time of year,” Yost said at a press conference. “Eddie has logged over 200 innings in the regular season. It’s not going to affect him a bit.”
Harvey gave up three runs and five hits over six innings in Game 1. He didn’t throw his usual amount of fastballs as he dissected how to handle Kansas City’s lineup. “I felt like I didn’t really have the greatest control with my fastball and greatest life,” Harvey explained at Saturday’s press conference. “So with a team who’s known to hit the fastball well, I think when you lose a little bit of confidence in that, you kind of have to try to pitch a little bit differently.”
* Over is 5-0 in the last five meetings.
* Royals are 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Mets are 1-5 in their last six interleague games.
* Over is 8-1-1 in Harvey’s last 10 starts overall.
SERIES PRICE: The Royals are just now -550 favorites to claim their first World Series title since 1985. The Mets, needing to wi nthree games in a row are +420.