What KC's 2-1 Series lead means, historically

Royals still in control, but Game 4 could make all the difference

What KC's 2-1 Series lead means, historically

The New York Mets got on the board in the 2015 World Series on Friday night, using an offensive barrage to win Game 3, 9-3. Still, they trail the Royals, 2-1, and have an uphill battle if they're to win their first championship in 29 years.

Teams facing a 2-1 deficit in a best-of-seven series have won that series just 38 times in 131 tries (or 29 percent of the time). Among the 29 other teams who won Game 3 of the World Series after trailing 2-0, only 11 went on to win the title.

Game Date Matchup
Gm 1 Oct. 27 KC 5, NYM 4 (14)
Gm 2 Oct. 28 KC 7, NYM 1
Gm 3 Oct. 30 NYM 9, KC 3
Gm 4 Oct. 31 KC 5, NYM 3
Gm 5 Nov. 1 KC 7, NYM 2 (12)

Postseason gear: Mets | Royals

But there's plenty of recent precedent for clubs rallying from 2-1 down in a World Series. The 2014 Giants and '13 Red Sox each trailed 2-1 and won the crown. Plus, 10 of the 13 teams who have rallied from an 0-2 deficit in a best-of-seven series did so after dropping the first two games on the road -- like the Mets.

As you'd expect, Game 4 generally proves to be pivotal in such comebacks. Among the past 12 teams to even the World Series at two games apiece by winning Games 3 and 4, eight went on to win it all -- and only one did not at least force a Game 7.

It's the fourth time in Mets franchise history that they've trailed, 2-1, in a series. New York lost the 1973 and 2000 World Series and the '06 National League Championship Series after facing such a deficit. However, in their most recent title run, the 1986 Mets trailed 2-1 before coming back to beat the Red Sox in seven games.

The Royals, meanwhile, held a 2-1 lead in the World Series last season, only to drop Games 4, 5 and 7 to the Giants. But they completed the job earlier this postseason after jumping out to a similar 2-0 (then 2-1) lead against the Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series.

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.