May brings the grueling schedule of a Major League Baseball season to Kansas City. Off Days become few and far between and the Royals will play a stretch of thirteen games without a day off in the middle of the month. During the tough day-to-day schedule, the Royals will also come face to face with American League powerhouses the New York Yankees and two series against the Texas Rangers. The month provides some relief against the Indians and Orioles, but will still provide a challenge for the ball club.
Total Games: 28
Vs teams with winning records in 2010: 14
Vs teams with losing records in 2010: 14
Vs teams in the AL Central: 6
May 10-12 @ New York – The Royals will face off against the Bronx Bombers early on in May. The Yankees have concerns of their own, but it still doesn’t bring them to the level that the Royals are at in their rebuilding process. A series win here could inspire the young Royals to overachieve for a while. A sweep for the Yankees and the Royals may lose faith. Winning one may be the best they can hope for, but at the same time, it wouldn’t be a complete disappointment.
May 20-22 vs St. Louis – Of course this series is important, it is this site’s namesake. The I-70 series will be revisited as the Cardinals travel across the state to take on the Royals. The Royals seem to haunt the Cardinals no matter how good or bad either team is playing at the time they face off. That being said, the Royals can take advantage of a series in Kansas City against another tough team and really propel themselves based off a series win here.
Key To a Hot Month:
The Royals will look to get out to a hot start in the early part of the season and the key to that will be the teams they have to beat. With a combined eight games against the Orioles and Indians, they have to build their wins in those series. A few sweeps of teams they should beat will go a long way. If they cannot beat those teams, then series against the Yankees and Cardinals will start to look insurmountable.
At the end of May:
If the Royals have 13+ wins… then they are performing pretty well. It is sub .500 ball, but it involves winning the games they should and taking at least one game from the superior teams they will face. Looking for your team to have a losing month and considering it a success is never a good sign, but this team is not playing for 2011 and a record close to .500 is probably overachieving this early in the season.
If the Royals are .500… fans should be satisfied. The team will have won the series against the lower teams, possibly have swept one of those series, or possibly have won a series against a team expected to be in playoff contention. Either way, the team is overachieving just a little if they find themselves at .500.
If the Royals are above .500… fans should rejoice. This will signify a couple of series sweeps or a few series wins against playoff caliber teams. The side effect to a positive month or two is the required patience of Dayton Moore. The General Manager simply cannot find himself in a “win now” attitude and needs to stay the course. If the team finds themselves competitive, they should look internally at possibly bringing some of the future to Kansas City sooner rather than later.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
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