You can't predict what's going to happen in a random best-of-seven baseball sample any more than you could have predicted that Ruben Amaro Jr. would become a first-base coach or Ben Cherington would become an Ivy League professor.
Baseball's weird, and we like it that way.
But baseball's also fun. Or at least, it's supposed to be. And what's more fun than faulty predictions that could very well be rendered moot almost immediately? I can't think of anything (though I admit that I'm not thinking very hard).
I'm thinking, instead, about this World Series between the Royals and Mets, a fascinating contrast of clubs that defied expectations in their own way to get here. Are the Royals going to fulfill what they have long contended to be their destiny in this Fall Classic follow-up to last year's Madison Bumgarner Show? Or are the Mets going to complete their shock to the system and go all the way, a la 1986?
Here's one attempt at an answer, game by game. Accuracy and satisfaction are not guaranteed.
No worse for the long wait between rounds (or the one-hour, 17-minute rain delay before first pitch), the Mets jump on Edinson Volquez, who retires future Hall of Famer Daniel Murphy with two aboard but gets burned by Yoenis Cespedes' two-run double. Later, Volquez stops short of calling Cespedes his "daddy," as he did with Chris Colabello, but he settles for "emotionally abusive stepfather."
Regardless, Volquez settles in, and Harvey has a real gem going the first two turns through the order. But when Eric Hosmer snakes a ground ball through the infield with two outs, the Royals get a sixth-inning rally going. Kendrys Morales doubles him home, Mike Moustakas walks, and Salvador Perez brings home Morales with the tying run. Morales' slide home is his most memorable moment at home plate since, you know, the whole broken ankle thing.
Harvey is pulled at 93 pitches, and Terry Collins summons Jonathon Niese to face Alex Gordon, whose RBI single gives the Royals the 3-2 lead. The Royals add an insurance run in the eighth, their bullpen preserves the advantage and the Royals take the 1-0 edge that eluded them last year against the Giants, and Kansas City fans are wet but happy, which is substantially better than dry and depressed.
Johnny Cueto retires the side in order in the first. He's attacking the zone, he's doing that little shimmy-shake, his dreadlocks look magnificent.
Then the Mets erupt for five runs in the second inning. Everybody wonders if First-Inning Cueto was surreptitiously replaced by one of the Cueto Clones.
Anyway, Jacob deGrom is deGreat, and the Mets win, 8-1.
This time, it's Noah Syndergaard's turn to struggle on the big stage. A Royals team that was adept against the high-velocity heat all season tees off on the kid, who is perhaps finally feeling the effects of the big innings bump and is charged with six runs allowed in only 2 1/3 innings. Lorenzo Cain and Moustakas both go deep, and Yordano Ventura leaves after six innings with a 6-2 lead, with Daniel Murphy's eighth postseason home run one of the Mets' few highlights.
Though the Mets do manage to make it interesting by scoring once in the eighth off Kelvin Herrera and putting a man on against Wade Davis in the ninth, they come up short, and Syndergaard's struggles loom large enough for the New York Post to run a "Syndergaarbage" back-page headline.
The Mets are in a 2-1 hole. And the tabloids are mean.
The Wilmer Flores game. He singles home a run off Chris Young in the second for his first RBI of October, makes a surprisingly great play on a would-be RBI single from Salvador Perez, and, above all else, hits the go-ahead home run off Luke Hochevar late to give the Mets a 6-5 lead. Everyone is Flore-d by the impressive performance from the shortstop nearly dealt at the Trade Deadline and thrust back into starting duty by the Ruben Tejada injury.
There are no tears of joy from Flores afterward. The Series must press on.
This is where the Series officially takes on a distinctly Royal shade of blue. Harvey pitches very well, and he goes into the offseason having amassed 214 1/3 innings, earning the enduring love of the Mets fan base and justifying whatever cost associated with his personal insurance policy.
But Volquez pitches the game of his life. In their final home game of 2015, the Mets' offense recedes into the night like Volquez's hairline. The right-hander is brilliant, allowing just four hits and a walk while pitching into the seventh, where he is pulled with a 2-0 lead. The Royals' bullpen does what the Royals' bullpen tends to do. And Kansas City is on the precipice of its first title in 30 years, while the average baseball writer is on the precipice of his 18th BBQ meal of the month.
Fearing absolute disaster from Cueto, Royals fans get quite the opposite. Johnny's on the spot. Johnny B. Good. Johnny provides Depp-th. Johnny Dangerously delivers, pitching out of the occasional jam to give the Royals seven quality innings in which he allows just a run on six hits with a pair of walks. Kansas City has a 2-1 lead going into the eighth, but the Mets tie it up on a Cespedes solo shot that strikes the Miller Lite sign well beyond the left-field wall, ricochets back off the extended hand of a fan, shoots into the air like a firecracker and then comes screeching down into the fountains, causing a splash of water that lands in the outfield grass.
After a drying agent is applied, the Royals go down in order in the eighth, and the Mets do likewise in the ninth. In the bottom of the ninth, Gordon hits a leadoff double off Tyler Clippard, who then retires Alex Rios and Alcides Escobar. But when Ben Zobrist shoots a line drive to the gap in left-center, Gordon sprints toward third and is waved home by Mike Jirschele. Challenging the mighty arm of Cespedes, Gordon slides in safely, just ahead of Travis d'Arnaud's tag, as confirmed by the first-ever World Series-ending replay review.
Anthony Castrovince is a Sports on Earth contributor and MLB.com columnist. Follow him on Twitter @Castrovince.