Against All Odds: the Royals World Series Edition


Tuesday nights’s win was so, so, so ridiculous.  Go see this now and see just how ridiculous.  While I hope Ned will go read this rather than assuming games are going to be low scoring before hand, for now I am just happy his various mistakes lead to a huge and dramatic victory for our Royals.  Now the Royals have what is starting to look like a realistic shot at making a run at the whole thing.

Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, but the updated playoff odds from Fangraphs this morning put the Royals World Series odds at 10.3%, and actually gives them a very tiny edge against the Angels.  That 10ish% level seems about right to me logically, but this is the playoffs and weird things happen.  I now genuinely believe this team can beat anybody, and after last night they have to believe it themselves.  They had around a 10% or lower chance of winning last night for a long period from the 6th to the 8th by the chart I linked to in the first paragraph, and again in the 12th when Lorenzo Cain grounded out in the first (actually it was 10.1%, but close enough).  Odds didn’t seem to bother them last night, and I expect they won’t going forward.

So I’m saying we got a chance, and probably about as good a chance as any team.  I also think that this team as constructed for the playoffs is likely better relative to other teams.  The teams that Fangraphs likes based on their team projections are the Tigers and Nationals.  The Tigers have a huge problem in that their bullpen could easily cost them an important game or even an entire series despite their superior rotation.  The Washington bullpen, though not as bad as Detroit’s, is also not great though it might be improved with Tanner Roark.  I agree with Fangraphs overall on the Nationals though.  That would be the team that would scare me most, but if we get to them it’s the World Series.  The Royals bullpen on the other hand is now stronger with Brandon Finnegan who I hope is now the guy Ned plans to go to outside of the three headed monster that is Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland.

The Royals also have a defensive advantage over all the other teams, with the Orioles being the possible exception.  What that means is that the team has a chance to leverage even mediocre starts into close games (or blowouts if the offense gets some runs).  The formula that they can use works.  The starter only needs to be solid for 5 innings, more is better, but not necessary, and then hand to the bullpen.  Of course Ned will start Jason Vargas instead of Danny Duffy Thursday, which means we have a lower caliber starter trying to manage it and makes me worry about Duffy’s health, but the Royals know how they win and believe that they will.