Last week was quite the excellent span for the Kansas City Royals. They took two of three from both the Indians and the Tigers, solidifying their grasp upon the American League Central. Those victories against the Tigers also gave the Royals a 4-3 advantage in the season series, serving notice to the rest of the league that last year was not the fluke that many expected.
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Those higher expectations have certainly reflected in the weekly FanSided MLB Power Rankings. The Royals have consistently rated among the top ten, and after the first week, have been a mainstay inside the top five. Their ascension up the ladder continued this week, as the Royals were ranked as the second best team according to our panel.
The Royals success has certainly been noticeable through the early going. They have the best run differential in the American League, and the third best in baseball. Their stellar bullpen has continued the lights out performances of the past few seasons, and once everyone is back and healthy, could be even better. The Royals offense has consistently displayed that power dimension that was missing last season, giving Kansas City a truly well rounded lineup. It has been fun to watch the continued development of this team.
Yet, for as well as the Kansas City Royals have played, they could get even better. Danny Duffy has been startlingly inconsistent, producing two of the worst outings of his career in his last two starts. Yordano Ventura has struggled at times in his role as the staff ace. In fact, aside from Edinson Volquez, the entire starting rotation has generally underperformed this season.
Once the rotation starts performing to expectations, then the Royals may well continue their march to the top of the rankings. They already own the best record in the American League, and that is without their typically dominant rotation performing as anticipated. If Duffy and Ventura can return to the form they displayed last season, then the Royals may end up not only as the best team in baseball, but well on their way to a magical season.
Despite the struggles the Kansas City Royals have had at times this year, they still have the best record in the American League. The scary part for the rest of baseball? There is still plenty of room for improvement.