Professor Sexton will be praying for a Mets victory this weekend

Peter Miller (Flickr)

Oxford and Cambridge profs divided over World Series wager

Matt Pickles

The World Series is the biggest contest in baseball so a lot is at stake for the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals as they face off this week.

The contest has also divided two leading American historians at Oxford and Cambridge, who have come up with an unusual bet on the outcome of the match.

Professor Jay Sexton, director of Oxford University's Rothermere American Institute (RAI), is a Kansas native and diehard support of the Kansas City Royals. Gary Gerstle, the Mellon Professor of US History at Cambridge University, loves the New York Mets.

They have agreed that if Kansas City Royals win, Professor Gerstle will wear a Royals hat when he speaks at the RAI this January for the launch of his new book. If the Mets win, Professor Sexton will reluctantly wear a Mets cap.

'I am certain that all subjects of the British Royal family are siding with Oxford's Rothermere American Institute in this bet. Go Royals!', says Professor Sexton.

'People outside of North America often balk at the name "World Series". The hope is that this bet increases interest in Britain in one of the world’s most storied sporting events.'

Things are looking good for Professor Sexton so far, with the Royals 2-0 up in the best-of-seven series. The third game takes place tonight.