MLB: Kansas City move within two wins of World Series return

The Kansas City Royals are the defending American League champions and after rallying from 3-0 down with three innings to play in Game 2 against the Toronto Blue Jays, are now just two wins from retaining their crown.

It was the second time this postseason that last year’s beaten World Series finalists had mounted an unlikely turnaround and their never-say-die attitude is just one reason to side with them 12 months on.

25 previous teams have gone 2-0 up in a League Championship Series since they became a best-of-seven contests. 22 of them have advanced to the World Series.

Having improved as a team since falling to the San Francisco Giants in a deciding World Series game-seven last season – the Royals were the American League’s fourth seeds back then, they’re the top dogs now – Kansas City will have more determination than most to claim ultimate victory.

Indeed, Ladbrokes make them the joint favourites for success at 7/5, a price they share with the National League’s New York Mets.

Like the Royals, the Mets also moved in to a 2-0 lead in their League Series against the Chicago Cubs. They are now halfway towards clinching their first league pennant for 15 years.

While Kansas City’s postseason is driven by redemption, New York are taking a ride on the back of Daniel Murphy.

The second baseman became the eighth player in Major League history to score a homerun in four consecutive postseason games when clearing the fence in the Mets’ 4-1 win over the Cubs. He is also the first Met to homer five times in the playoffs.

With Murphy in flying form and the Royals determined to make amends, their impending World Series clash looks an increasing formality.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.