Kansas City Royals: Why the Royals have a real chance for the playoffs

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

The 2020 MLB season is up for anyone to grab. Including the Kansas City Royals, who have a strong case to be made for why they could make things interesting in the Central.

Now that the 2020 MLB season is officially beginning again, things are more interesting than ever for every team. The number one reason being, it literally could be anyone who makes it all the way, including the Kansas City Royals.

When the rules and guidelines started becoming public, one of the questions not revolving around players’ safety was who they would play. For the Royals this year, they will play their American League Central opponents, per usual, 10 times each. However, they will also be playing the National League Central teams as well. The Boys in Blue will be playing the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds four times each, Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers three times each, and in-state rival St. Louis Cardinals six times this year.

For those doing the quick math, or for those who haven’t been paying attention to the world of baseball, that equates to a 60 game season. 102 fewer games being played this year compared to the normal 162 game season.

What does this mean for the Royals?

Players and coaches have to function differently this year. The normal “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” mentality, or the notion that a team can have a bad week or two but still bounce back is far from reality now. Every team needs to come out swinging, literally.

While it’s no hidden secret that the Royals have notoriously started the year slow, that might not be the case for them this year. Playing against the division more, and less against outside divisional teams could benefit the Royals.


Some of the Royals seem to love playing against divisional teams. When looking at the Royals, they may have enough firepower on the offensive side of the ball to help push them over the top.

Here are the statistical breakdowns of all the offensive players the Royals against AL/NL Central teams in 2019.


  • Ryan McBroom: 13 games, .264/.316/.302, 2 doubles
  • Cam Gallagher: 24 games, .262/.343/.415, 4 doubles, 2 hr
  • Ryan O’Hearn: 48 games, .246/.342/.486, 6 doubles, 9 hr
  • Adalberto Mondesi: 43 games, .223/.249/.394, 9 doubles, 6 triples, 4 hr
  • Nicky Lopez: 52 games, .223/.263/.287, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 1 hr
  • Maikel Franco: 31 games, .198/.257/.307, 8 doubles, 1 hr


  • Whit Merrifield: 80 games, .332/.374/.500, 25 doubles, 4 triples, 8 hr
  • Jorge Soler: 80 games, .298/.392/.653, 17 doubles, 28 hr
  • Hunter Dozier: 68 games, .271/.337/.562, 10 doubles, 7 triples, 17 hr
  • Alex Gordon: 75 games, .262/.345/.375, 10 doubles, 7 hr
  • Bubba Starling: 30 games, .188/.234/.267, 2 doubles, 2 hr
  • Brett Phillips: 11 games, .087/.185/.130, 1 double

A lot still needs to be taken into consideration. The number of games played against opponents, how often the player started verse if he was a pinch hitter, and what teams they played against being the main considerations.

Let’s try and make a hypothetical lineup based on these players.

  • C: Gallagher –  .262/.343/.415
  • 1B: O’Hearn – .246/.342/.486
  • 2B: Lopez – .223/.263/.287
  • 3B: Franco – .198/.257/.307
  • SS: Mondesi – .223/.249/.394
  • LF: Gordon – .262/.345/.375
  • CF: Merrifield – .332/.374/.500
  • RF: Dozier – .271/.337/.562
  • DH: Soler – .298/.392/.653

When looking at this lineup, the Royals have five players who hit .260 or higher.

If you take into consideration the small run that O’Hearn made at the end of the year when he was recalled from Triple-A, he was hitting .263/.354/.754 with more power and consistency than when he started the year.

Something to consider as well, in 2019, the average slash in baseball was .252/.323/.435, which is about what it has been since 2010. Therefore, over half the Royals lineup would be considered “above” league average when facing AL/NL Central teams.