• Over and Under The Competition: The Royals

    Can any season for the Kansas City Royals, who have only finished above .500 once since strike-shortened 1994, really be considered a disappointment? Maybe not, but last year was close.

    Last year was supposed to be the year the the Royals perennial rebuilding efforts finally paid off. Vegas gave them an over/under of 80.5, giving them even odds at that elusive .500 year. It wasn't to be. Their offense was below average (20th in runs scored) and their pitching was worse (23rd in combined ERA). They won only 72 games. Their starting rotation was especially bad, posting an ERA of 5.01.

    That's the area they attacked this offseason. Last year's Opening Day starter, Bruce Chen, goes into the season and their fifth starter. A trade with the Rays netted them James Shields and Wade Davis. Another trade with the Angles brought them Ervin Santana. And they re-signed Jeremy Guthrie, who was outstanding for them after a midseason trade with the Rockies.

    Despite all those improvements, Vegas is cautious, giving them an over/under of 78.5, two games worse than they expected last year. It looks like those that bet the over last year may need a little reassuring to make the same bet this year. I don't blame them. The Royals were 11 games under .500 by April 24th last year. Five months is a long time to wonder why the hell you thought this year would be any different for the Royals.

    For the record, I think this year might just be different. If I had to choose one way or the other, I'd take the over on that 78.5, but .... there is just no way I'm laying money on that number. Let me rephrase that: there is no way I'm laying money on that franchise. I expect the good people of Missouri understand. After all, they are the "Show Me" state.

    Make sure you're heard, too. We'll review these at the end of the year.
    This article was originally published in blog: Over and Under: The Royals started by John Bonnes
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. Gernzy's Avatar
      Gernzy -
      I agree with you on this. They have a good chance of finishing above .500 this year but I could not bet on it.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      I vote stay away--I cant picture KC over 500--so the tendency is take the under--but pitching is improved a bit...dont count on Guthrie to repeat good results.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Don't you think their lineup is underrated? Most of these guys-Hosmer, Moustakis, et al, should get better. They've had bad luck with pitching prospects, but still have a couple real studs coming up.

      The law of averages favors the over for KC.
    1. fairweather's Avatar
      fairweather -
      78.5 is way to tough to call for this team. I wouldn't touch this bet. I will say this that the Royals will be better than the Twins but I can't predict by how much.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      No way I'd touch this bet. I can pretty easily see KC being anywhere from 10 games over that line to 10 games under it, without surprising me in either instance.
    1. shs_59's Avatar
      shs_59 -
      ME ?

      1. Detroit 91-71
      2. Kansas City 84-78
      3. Cle. Indians 79-83
      4. Twins 71-91
      5. White Sox 69-93
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
      No way I'd touch this bet. I can pretty easily see KC being anywhere from 10 games over that line to 10 games under it, without surprising me in either instance.
      Yep. I have no idea what to expect from that team. They could challenge Detroit for the division or they could challenge the Twins for the cellar.
    1. wavedog's Avatar
      wavedog -
      Same as everyone else - I have them winning 80 games this year but I would not put any of my money on that happening. If everything clicks for them they could contend but since when has anything clicked for KC.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Is it strange that I think the Royals will improve because of better offensive output? I think the youngsters will click having now played a couple MLB seasons together. They put a lot of effort and dollars into the rotation but Santana is a time bomb and Shields pitches much better indoors than out. I don't think that rotation is as good as they think it is.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Over, and I'd actually make this bet.....but man, Vegas is good at this.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      I'd bet the over too. Rotation is better, bullpen is very strong. Gordon and Butler are for real. Hosmer, Mous, and Escobar should all improve. They are young and healthy enough to do very well IMHO.
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