KC Royals: Five Reasons The Royals Will Defeat Blue Jays
By John Viril
Oct 14, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) hits a three run home run during the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers in game five of the ALDS at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
4. TORONTO’S ONE-DIMENSIONAL OFFENSE
The Toronto Blue Jays are a team that is built to do pretty much one thing on offense: bash the ball out of the park.
That pretty much makes Toronto one dimensional if opposing pitchers can keep the ball in the park. The Blue Jays are a mere 10-33 in games they fail to hit a home run.
Now, the Blue Jays are not feast-or-famine hitters like the Houston Astros. The Blue Jays boast a lineup of veteran hitters who pair their power with well-above average contact hitting. While the KC Royals were the best contact hitting team in baseball by a wide margin with a strikeout rate of 15.9%, Toronto ranked fifth at putting the ball in play among MLB teams in 2015 with a strikeout rate of 18.5%.
So, while the Toronto Blue Jays can pile up hits and take walks, this ability is more about loading up the bases for their bashers than scratching out runs against a tough opponent. The Blue Jays are a pedestrian 8-8 in games in which they score four runs, and a fairly hopeless 4-17 when they score three. Overall, Toronto is 16-56 when scoring four runs or less. They pretty much have to light you up to beat you, but they do just that with frightening frequency.
By comparison, the KC Royals went a MLB-best 16-6 when held to three scores, and an outstanding 15-3 when scoring four.
The Toronto Blue Jays lack the exceptional team speed to exploit mistakes by their opponents, and the bunting skills to scratch out runs. The only player in the Toronto lineup who poses a significant threat on the basepaths is center-fielder Kevin Pillar, who had 25 stolen bases this season. The Blue Jays are not a team that can force the action by running wild on the bases.
Even though the Kansas City Royals total of 104 stolen bases might not appear to be that big a difference over Toronto’s 88, the Royals boast specialty players like Jarrod Dyson and Terrance Gore that can wreck havoc in the late innings with their speed. Regulars Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar boast outstanding speed, while corner infielders Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer have enough juice to make plays with their legs.
These tendencies mean that the Blue Jays could find themselves thrown out of sorts if they have to scratch out a run to win a close game under playoff pressure, rather than bludgeoning the the KC Royals into submission.
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