KC Royals: Five Biggest Weaknesses At The Break

4 of 6

Oct 29, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner takes the field for the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals during game seven of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

3. Scoring Against Left-Handed Pitching

The KC Royals lineup has a real problem against left-handed pitchers.

So far this season, the Kansas City Royals are only 15-15 versus left-handed starters compared to a 37-19 record against righty starters. Not surprisingly, the team’s batting splits echo this difference, with the Royals logging a .744 OPS (On Base Plus Slugging) against right-handed pitching versus .703 OPS against left-handers.

At a more primal level, it was the KC Royals inability to beat San Francisco Giants left-handed starter Madison Bumgarner that prevented them from winning the 2014 World Series.

That’s not an exaggeration. Bumgarner won both of his World Series starts, and pitched five shutout innings in relief in Game 7 to hold onto a one-run Giants’ lead.

In short, left-handed pitching is the Kansas City Royals Kryptonite.

Dayton Moore could attempt to balance his lineup at the trade deadline by bringing in hitters with a strong split against left-handed pitching. Moore will consider any potential deadline deal hitter with their ability to hit left-handed pitching in mind.

One name that came up frequently during the off-season, who might help the KC Royals address their problems against lefties, is Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Scott Van Slyke. Van Slyke has a career .270/.378/.528 triple slash against southpaws in his career, for an outstanding .906 OPS.

Of course the problem with Scott Van Slyke is that he plays for a contender who very well knows his platoon slits.

Another possible solution would be to bring back former Kansas City Royals utility infielder Danny Valencia, who is hitting a robust .299/.331/.526 this season for Toronto. Though righty-hitting Valencia has a reverse platoon split this season, he’s a career .325/.366/.497 batter against lefties.