The Kansas City Royals’ positive momentum they built throughout the MLB postseason has already faded.
After losing Game 1 of the World Series 7-1 to the San Francisco Giants, the Royals now face a steep challenge to climb back into control of the series.
Game 1 is critical in the World Series. 15 of the last 17 teams to win Game 1 have gone on to win the entire series.
Furthermore, 17 of the past 20, and 22 of the past 26 teams who have won Game 1 have won the entire World Series.
Much of it has to do with home-field advantage. The Royals were lucky to earn home-field advantage for the series, but losing Game 1 or 2 completely reverses that advantage. Even if the Royals win Game 2, the Giants have home-field advantage with a tied series going back to San Francisco for Games 3, 4, and 5.
Historical precedents aside, the Royals are at a disadvantage because they would have to go 4-2 over the next six games to win the World Series. It’s a tough feat to accomplish against a great team, never mind that they’d have to win at least two of the games in San Francisco. The Giants are 4-1 at home this postseason.
Furthermore, the Giants are simply a good playoff team. They’re on a nine-series postseason win streak dating back to 2010. They missed the playoffs in 2011 and 2013, but they won the World Series in 2010 and 2012, meaning they haven’t lost a playoff series in their last two postseasons.
It’s certainly not impossible for the Royals to come back; two wins in the next three games would put them in nice position heading back to Kansas City for Games 6 and 7. However, losing Game 1 put them in a surprisingly deep hole that history doesn’t favour.
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