The Kansas City Royals opened their season with a 4-3 victory over the Mets Sunday night. Here’s a look at how the rest of the AL Central stacks up to begin the 2016 season:
The American League Central figures to be a much more competitive division that the 2015 edition that the KC Royals won by 12 games (over second place Minnesota). The Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, and Cleveland Indians all acquired multiple impact players that should help them improve in 2016. Meanwhile, the bountiful prospects that jam the Minnesota Twins roster should benefit from another year of experience.
The Kansas City Royals are unlikely to win the AL Central by a double digit margin in 2016. In fact, they might not win it at all.
You can make a reasonable case for ANY of the AL Central teams winning the division in 2016. Injuries, and unexpected breakouts or collapses will do more to separate these five teams than talent. Though, in way, this talent parity plays into the hands of the defending World Champion KC Royals because they boast unmatched confidence, championship experience, and team chemistry.
In a division where the teams appear to have closely matched talent, the Kansas City Royals proven roster full of players who know how to win is a significant edge.
Next: Cleveland Indians