The Running Kansas City Royals sweep the 2018 Champion Red Sox in 3 and win the ALDS!
As a fan, I never like going into a season thinking the Kansas City Royals have no chance to win it all. Is it logical? No. Is it crazy to think so? Maybe. However, I still don’t want to go there. As a fan I have to believe the stars will line up, and all the breaks come the Royals way.
For the Kansas City Royals to have a chance they need their pitching to lead the way. The team will not win many games by out slugging their rivals. Danny Duffy needs to to stay healthy and effective all season. Brad Keller will need to repeat his success and improve on it. Jakob Junis had some trouble mid 2018, we need the good Junis to show up all year.
The other two starters will have to be at, or above, league average. The whole staff will have keep the score close for six to seven innings most nights. If they go with a young staff and move Ian Kennedy to the bullpen, the younger arms could make that happen. Before being injured, Jorge Lopez showed no-hit type ability. We will need to see more of that. The reality is, 900 to 1000 effective innings will be needed from starters to win the division.
The bullpen needs its next HDH and at least two to three other effective relievers. Richard Lovelady could be one and has closer stuff to do it and Kevin McCarthy put up good numbers but will need to be better this year. I believe he and Tim Hill were a little over exposed last year, with better arms surrounding them I think fewer innings could lead to improved results. Glenn Sparkman looked really good in relief last year too.
Josh Staumont began 2018 giving up two runs, one earned, in 15.2 innings over his first 12 games for Omaha. He was lights out good. Then the Kansas City Royals began to use Staumont as a starter and later as a multi inning reliever. The results were all over the place. In games where he pitched one inning or less, and the first innings of games he pitched multiple innings, he was very effective. Like Sparkman, if given one role or inning to work, he could blossom even with the walks.
Like 2015, The Kansas City Royals will need to be aggressive on the base paths and have timely hitting. The top of the lineup will feature Whit Merrifield, and Adalberto Mondesi, followed by Jorge Soler, could prove very effective in scoring runs. Ryan O’Hearn in the cleanup role followed by Salvador Perez could have lots of RBI opportunities.
I like O’Hearn’s ability to hit to the opposite field. The Royals protected him against lefties in 2018, but that ability to hit to left field makes me think he could hold his own against them.
The rest of the lineup will have to step up as well. Alex Gordon, Hunter Dozier and whoever wins the Right Field battle will need to do their part. If Billy Hamilton gets on base in front of Merrifield and Mondesi, I see all kinds of panic for opposing pitchers. We could see lots of pickoff errors, Double Steals, and runs scored from first base on long singles. Not to mention lots of fastballs to who follows them.
The AL Central is wide open. The Indians have questions too, and don’t look as strong. A prolonged losing streak, key injuries and or bad luck could limit their wins to under 90. With a good start and a few lucky breaks, the Royals could be right in the thick of things.
Terrance Gore scores on wild Pitch the Royals Win the World Series in 2019 over the Dodgers!