Gregor: Why the Royals will win World Series
In 1985, the Kansas City Royals won the World Series and "Back to the Future" debuted on the big screen.
Nearly three decades later, the Royals are back on baseball's biggest stage.
And to quote George McFly, they are a team of "density."
They still have to dispose of the San Francisco Giants in the World Series, but the Royals are much, much more than the darling underdogs of October.
They are a very good baseball team and, as their 8-0 record in the postseason screams out, the Royals got hot at the right time.
I still go back to the wild-card game when thinking about Kansas City, and that's why I still think the Royals are going to win it all.
Trailing Oakland 7-3 in the eighth inning, the Royals stormed back to tie it with 3 runs in the eighth and 1 in the ninth and won it 9-8 with 2 runs in the 12th after the Athletics pushed a run across in the top of the inning.
In the American League division series, K.C. swept the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 before sweeping the Baltimore Orioles 4-0 in the AL championship series. It has been quite a showing so far, and not even a five-day layoff can slow them down.
Kansas City is doing everything right.
The Royals have a 2.93 team ERA in the playoffs, and that's without ace starter James Shields (5.63 ERA) or Yordano Ventura (4.85) being sharp.
As the Giants will find out, K.C. is nearly impossible to beat late thanks to a trio of top-notch relief pitchers.
In a combined 25⅔ innings, closer Greg Holland (6 saves), Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera have allowed 3 earned runs while striking out 30.
Offensively, the Royals are averaging a tick better than 5 runs a game in the playoffs behind Eric Hosmer (.448 batting average, 2 home runs, 8 RBI), Alex Gordon (9 RBI), Mike Moustakas (4 HRs, 5 RBI) and Lorenzo Cain (.353, 9 runs scored, 4 RBI).
Kansas City's defensive play in October has bordered on unbelievable.
San Francisco's AT&T Park has a spacious outfield, but Gordon in left, Cain in center and Norichika Aoki in right, along with late-inning specialist Jarrod Dyson, cover more ground than anybody in the game.
Moustakas has been a marvel at third base, as has Hosmer at first base and Alcides Escobar at shortstop.
And one more thing … speed.
It started in the wild-card game, when the Royals stole 7 bases against the A's. They have 13 steals overall while the other nine playoff teams have 15 combined.
Add it all up and it's tempting to forecast yet another sweep. But we'll back off a bit and pick Kansas City to win in six games.