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Royals manager Ned Yost: Mets' starting rotation is nothing but aces

New York Mets pitchers Jacob deGrom, left, Steven

New York Mets pitchers Jacob deGrom, left, Steven Matz and Matt Harvey look on during practice at Citi Field in Flushing on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Pick an ace, any ace.

"They're all good," Royals manager Ned Yost said Sunday of the rotation arms the Mets bring to the World Series, which will start here Tuesday night. "You look at all four starters that they're going to start, they're all phenomenal. All of them."

The Mets have announced Matt Harvey as their Game 1 starter, followed by Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz. "Really, their top three guys could be No. 1s in any organization and Matz, maybe he's a No. 2, maybe he's a No. 1. He's tough, too," said Yost, who declined to announce his rotation Sunday before his club's evening workout at Kauffman Stadium (the Mets worked out there earlier in the day). "They're just a dynamic starting rotation."

That's not to say Yost isn't confident in his rock-steady lineup, which features no stars but no weak links.

The Royals had the fewest strikeouts of any team in baseball this season -- 973, making them the only team under 1,000 -- and ranked second in the AL in stolen bases with 104.

In their six-game victory over the Blue Jays in the ALCS, Kansas City struck out 35 times compared to Toronto's 56.

So does the Royals' ability to consistently put the ball in play against all kinds of pitching give them an advantage?

"It does, and if you go back at our numbers, we do pretty well against power pitching," Yost said. "So that definitely helps."

Yost, whose team lost to the Giants in Game 7 of last year's World Series, singled out other Mets strengths. Offensively there's Yoenis Cespedes -- "a big difference-maker," Yost said -- and, of course, the ridiculously hot Daniel Murphy, whom he called "a real threat every time."

"They've got a great team," Yost said. "The back end of their bullpen is very strong [with Jeurys Familia]. They can hit the ball out of the ballpark."

The Royals' path to the World Series could not have been more different from last year's, when they swept the Angels in the ALDS and the Orioles in the ALCS. This year they survived a five-game ALDS against the Astros, nearly getting eliminated in Game 4, before rebounding from Jose Bautista's tying two-run homer in the eighth inning of Game 6, scoring the ALCS-deciding run in the bottom of the inning and escaping a first-and-third, none-out jam in the ninth.

"These playoffs have been a real dogfight, against a great Houston team and then a phenomenal Toronto team, and we don't expect this to be any easier," Yost said. "It's going to continue to get tougher because the teams are getting better and better, but I like the way we're playing. I like what we've got going on."


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