All good things must end, and end they did for the New York Mets on an unseasonably warm November evening in Queens. On two occasions the Mets were marginal World Series favorites, but they never did get over the hump. The Mets' loss is—literally—a victory for the Kansas City Royals. Favorites since the beginning of the Fall Classic, the Royals clinched their first World Series in three decades thanks to talent, good timing and an unbelievable supply of pluck (yes, that is the sabermetric term).
A Royals win in five was the sixth most likely outcome among eight possibilities. After a strong start, the simulator struggled once the Royals and Mets advanced to their respective League Championship Series. In the LDS round, the eventual outcomes ranked 3rd, 3rd, 4th and 1st among the simulator's projected outcomes: not too shabby. In the LCS round, the eventual outcomes ranked eighth and fifth among eight.
A Royals win over the Mets in five games ranked 72nd out of 200 possibilities at the start of the playoffs, 98th of 128 at the start of LDS play and 27th of 32 at the start of LCS play. The model underperformed, but "Royals in five" was a rather unexpected outcome according to similar models and Vegas bettors, as well.
Failed models make for exciting postseasons.
The Royals were nearly out of it through seven innings in game three of the ALDS. That they eventually came back to win that game, win that series, and win it all speaks to the tenacity of the newest champions of baseball. Though they trailed in every World Series game, they lost but once, blazing a clear path to baseball domination.
The Mets' World Series chances peaked in the hiatus between the NLCS and World Series. Despite many promising starts, they never did recover from their game one loss.
Both the Royals and Mets started in about the same place at the beginning of the 2015 postseason. They both steadily improved their standing up until the World Series. One team was going to distinguish itself. It just so happened that team was the Royals. They finish third in RPScore ratings, behind the two teams they beat on the way to the championship.
Thanks to everyone who followed along this postseason! I'm not done yet—I still have a World Series Probability Added chart to prepare. Stop by later this week to check it out. Here's a sneak peek: the Royals did okay.