Fueled by a pair of three-run innings, a dozen hits, and a combined four RBIs and nine hits from the top four batters in their lineup, the KC Royals beat the Pirates 9-6 on a mild Pittsburgh evening a little over three months ago. The April 28 victory gave the Royals a 2.5 game lead in the American League Central and represented the club’s 2021 high-water mark.
Since then, Kansas City is 31-52, a dismal performance that leaves the club 46-60 overall and just two games ahead of last place Minnesota in the Central heading into tonight’s game against the White Sox. Hopes of postseason play are gone and, even after going .500 in July, there is little for the Royals to do now but play out another disappointing season.
And look forward, of course, to the 2022 campaign. Major League Baseball made that task a bit easier Wednesday by releasing the entire 2022 regular season schedule, including Kansas City’s.
If you’re tired of the 2021 campaign, what does 2022 look like?
Success in the season’s first month will be critical for the KC Royals.
April rarely seems to be kind to the Royals, so their success in the campaign’s first 2021 month came as a surprise—Kansas City went 15-9 and finished April in first place in the AL Central. Facing their division rivals only 10 times certainly didn’t hurt.
Leading the Central when April turns to May next year will be more difficult. The schedule makers pit the Royals against other AL Central clubs 20 times next April, a tough slate featuring six games with the White Sox, the clear class of the division, and another half-dozen with Cleveland.
KC opens on the road against Cleveland, which will then be known as the Guardians, March 31 and, after the customary scheduled off day April 1, will finish the season-opening series with single games April 2 and 3 before the April 4 home opener against the White Sox.
Repeating their 15-9 April performance of this season won’t be easy. Emerging from the month with a respectable record will be vital to the club’s contention hopes.
Interleague play features some excellent opponents for the KC Royals.
Headlining Kansas City’s 2022 interleague schedule are three clubs currently in line for 2021 playoff berths.
The Royals visit San Francisco, currently leading the NL West by 3.5 games, June 13-15, then host the second-place Dodgers August 12-14, and third-place San Diego August 26-28.
Fortunately, KC’s 2022 interleague slate isn’t composed entirely of teams with high expectations for next season. The Royals visit Colorado for three games and Arizona for two in May, then entertain the Diamondbacks in Kansas City for two more in August.
And Kansas City and St. Louis will renew their interleague, intrastate rivalry in 2022, first with two games in St. Louis April 12-13, then with another two at Kauffman Stadium May 3-4.
The KC Royals will end the regular 2022 season where it’s slated to begin.
How will Kansas City finish next year’s schedule? Right where they start it—the campaign winds up in Cleveland with an Oct. 2 finale to a three-game road series.
Hopefully, that won’t be the end of Kansas City’s October.
Kansas City’s 2022 schedule is out. Will the Royals fare better next season?