Looking at the KC Royals’ 2019 season through 50 games

KC Royals (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
KC Royals (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals have a recent history of starting slow, and that was no different in 2019. Just how much did the team struggle through 50 games?

As we wait patiently for the MLB players and owners to come to a compromise on a negotiation that would bring KC Royals baseball back to our television screens, the clock is ticking.

The players have expressed concerns over the length of the potential 2020 season and their salaries (among other things). The owners have responded with ideas of their own, with some listing 82- or 50-game seasons (cringes) as possibilities. The two sides remain relatively far apart and simply assuming this season is still sure to happen would be a risky proposition.

In the event of a 50-game season, all bets are off. Hot streaks can parlay themselves into playoff berths. Individual records like batting average and ERA could possibly be broken (but likely wouldn’t qualify for all-time leaderboards to begin with). Teams like the KC Royals, squads that have been among the worst in the league in recent years, would have an increased chance at making the playoffs.

FanGraphs recently broke down the 2019 season and split it into different sections, starting with the first 50 games of the year. After 50 contests last year, the Royals were 17-33, good for the third-worst record in all of baseball. The team is notorious for getting off to slow starts, so this didn’t come as much of a surprise. Things didn’t get that much better over the course of the campaign, though. Here are some different stretches of the season the article looked at:

  • Games 26-75: 18-32
  • Games 51-100: 20-30
  • Games 76-125: 18-32
  • Games 113-162: 19-31

The Royals’ best 50-game stretch last season? It came with a 21-29 record. That’s several games below .500 and shouldn’t give fans much hope that in the event this season only had that many contests, things would be significantly different. Then again, catcher Salvador Perez is back in the mix and the hope is that he and shortstop Adalberto Mondesi can remain healthy for the whole year. Maybe that changes things and pushes the team closer to breaking even.

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Perhaps a few more things fall in new manager Mike Matheny’s favor and he leads the KC Royals to a surprise run at a playoff spot. Anything can happen but based on recent data, it doesn’t seem likely — even in a 50-game season.