KANSAS CITY -- Chris Archer is normally glued to his television during the League Championship Series and World Series, but he has a much closer view of baseball's best yearly event this fall.
Archer, the Tampa Bay Rays' All-Star starting pitcher and candidate to win the American League Cy Young Award, is working with ESPN during the World Series, providing analysis for "Baseball Tonight" and also for games broadcast on ESPN Radio. Needless to say, he'll pay close attention to the World Series action between the Royals and Mets.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Archer said. "There's a lot of hype around these young Mets starters. It's going to be very interesting to see how they do against one of the best lineups in baseball."
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That seemed to be the overriding sentiment around baseball as Game 1 commenced. The Mets' hard-throwing rotation is lauded as one of the best in World Series history, and at least judging from what we've seen so far, it should be a formidable match for the free-swinging Royals, who have one of the best fastball-hitting lineups.
"One through nine, you have All-Stars, for the most part," Archer said. "Eric Hosmer hasn't made an All-Star team, but we know the caliber of player he is. I don't know if Kendrys Morales has, but he's one of the best DHs in the game. It'll be nice to see how that high-end National League pitching staff competes against one of the best American League rivals."
For the most part, players on teams not involved in the postseason enjoy watching the playoffs as their offseason gets underway. Archer has always paid close attention to the games, although he tries not to go into baseball overload during the Division Series, when games are played practically around the clock.
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Archer does like to decompress for a couple days after his own season ends, after all.
"It's hard to watch all the Division Series, because you sit at home all day," he said. "I've also been doing it for 10 months before that. But when it comes down to the Championship Series and World Series, I pretty much watch every game."
Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.