Royals Clinch ALCS Spot, But Can 'Team Of Destiny' Win All?

The Kansas City Royals swept the Anaheim Angels Sunday and will face the Baltimore Orioles for a spot in the World Series. Which underdog will win?

Royals Clinch ALCS Spot, But Can 'Team Of Destiny' Win All?
Getty Images / Ed Zurga

After 29 years, Kansas City Royals fans finally got to hear these blessed words on Sunday night. 

JOSH MARSHALL, KCTV: "We will be playing Baltimore in the ALCS ... Tonight we are ALCS champions!"

Okay, so he meant ALDS there at the end, but that's what it looked like on local TV when the Royals beat the Anaheim Angels 8-3 to clinch a spot in the American League Champions Series and take another step toward their first World Series since 1985.  

And this is what it looked like in the locker room as the team celebrated sweeping the Angels — the team with the best record in baseball — with two tense games in Anaheim and a comfortable win in Kansas City. (Video via The Kansas City Star)

The Royals were widely seen as underdogs going into the playoffs, but as a writer for USA Today noted, the playoff sweep changed that. "The clincher showed the Royals at their best, playing the kind of complete game that confirms they're for real."

Now they go up against another team — the Baltimore Orioles — that also played the part of underdog in its playoff series against the Detroit Tigers, which it also swept. We now have two teams many experts didn't predict to even make the playoffs facing off for the ALCS.

Who does that leave as the favorite? ESPN's Jerry Crasnick argues the Orioles are the team to beat, in part because of their attitude, writing, "Yes, the quantitative-analysis crowd scoffs at the notion that togetherness and harmony matter, but winning teams can sense it when something special is in the air."

Whatever that something special is, Royals fans will say it's in the air in Kansas City, too, with the phrase "team of destiny" floating around coverage, as well as descriptions like this.

JACK HARRY, KSHB: "The royals have become the Cinderella, feel-good story in this first week of October."

Still, which underdog, Cinderella story or "team of destiny" will ultimately win out and find a place in the World Series remains to be seen. The first game between the Royals and the Orioles will be on Friday. 

This video contains images from Getty Images.