Winner of opener has gone on to win 70 of 110 World Series
By AJ Cassavell
With their thrilling 5-4, 14-inning victory on Tuesday night, the Royals jumped out to a crucial early lead in the World Series. But just how much of an edge did they gain by taking 1-0 advantage over the Mets?
Well, history tells us it's a pretty important one. Teams that have struck first in a best-of-seven series are 106-60 all-time. In the Fall Classic, the Game 1 winner has gone on to win the title 70 of 110 times.
More recently, each of the past five Game 1 winners eventually won the World Series, and 11 of the past 12 did so as well. Since 2003, only the '09 Yankees managed to win the title after dropping the opener.
The Mets, however, have plenty of history to draw upon for motivation. As a franchise, they've lost Game 1 eight times, but they've won five of those series -- including both of their World Series titles in 1969 and '86.
The Royals, meanwhile, had never won a World Series Game 1 in their history until Tuesday night. They're 3-1 all-time after winning Game 1 of any series.
Kansas City simply held serve at home Tuesday night -- which has proven critical in the past. When the home team wins Game 1, it has gone on to win the World Series 44 of 64 times.
"Any time you're in these kind of situations, when you start on the road, you go in saying, 'Look, we've got to come out of here 1-1,'" said Mets manager Terry Collins. "Now we've got a chance with [Jacob deGrom] going tomorrow. We've got to come out, give him big hits and give him something to work with."
Collins' refrain is a familiar one. The old adage across sports says visiting teams must simply "steal one on the road."
But that hasn't worked so well in World Series play. Should the Mets win Game 2 Wednesday night (7:30 p.m. ET air time on FOX, 8 p.m. game time), they'd be the 52nd team in history to force a split on the road. Those teams are only 23-28 overall in the Fall Classic.
Of course, it's just Game 1, and anything can happen in the remainder of the Series. But the Royals certainly put themselves in a good place, entering Wednesday's Game 2.
AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.