On Deck: World Series, Games 1-2

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On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every playoff series during the 2015 season. 

The Teams: The Mets seem to be that team every year that gets hot at just the right time and just waltzes through the postseason after pulling off a pretty improbable sweep of the Cubs. The Royals, on the other hand, are back for a second straight year after losing in seven games to the Giants a year ago.

Past Meetings: The teams last met in 2013, when the Royals took two of three games in Citi Field. Before that, the Royals took of three games in 2004, and the Mets took two of three in 2002. Those nine games are all the matchups between the teams since Interleague play began in 1997.

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Pitching Matchups: Tuesday — Matt Harvey (13-8, 2.71 ERA) vs. Edinson Volquez (13-9, 3.55); Wednesday — Jacob deGrom (14-8, 2.54) vs. Johnny Cueto (4-7, 4.76).

What's Hot: Well, this has to start with Daniel Murphy. There isn't a hotter player in the game, or in recent postseason memory, than Murphy has been for the Mets. The second baseman has seven home runs and 11 RBIs  in his nine postseason games and is batting .421 in that time. Veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson and newly acquired slugger Yoenis Cespedes are tied with seven RBIs for second on the team in RBIs. Jacob deGrom has worked 20 postseason innings over three starts and is 3-0 with a 1.87 ERA and 27 strikeouts in that time.

Leadoff hitter Alcides Escobar is batting .386 through the Royals' 11 postseason games with three doubles and two triples. Former Ranger Alex Rios has had a strong postseason for the Royals, as he's hitting .333 with a homer and five RBIs in his 11 games. The back end of the Royals' bullpen, much like last season, has been really stout. Closer Wade Davis, who took over at the end of the season for injured closer Greg Holland, has allowed three hits and no runs in 6 2/3 relief innings. Flame-throwing setup man Kelvin Herrera has 16 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings and has allowed just one run.

What's Not: Two key figures the Mets count on at the plate, David Wright and Lucas Duda, have struggled throughout the series. Wright is batting .167 with 12 strikeouts in his nine postseason games, while Duda had a huge game in the NLCS' decisive Game 4 to raise his average to .214 with 13 strikeouts in the postseason.

Johnny Cueto, who has been so up and down with the Royals since being acquired at the trade deadline, has allowed 14 earned runs and 15 hits in 16 innings of work this postseason. Edinson Volquez hasn't fared a lot better, allowing eight runs in 16 2/3 innings. Mike Moustakas is hitting just .167 in his 11 postseason games with one homer and five RBIs. Even though he's batting just .222 this postseason, Eric Hosmer leads the team with 11 RBIs. 

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