Just like the end of the 2014 season, the Royals are hot yet again in the start of 2015. Since September 28, 2014, the Royals are 18-5 (Including postseason). During that span, they completed postseason series sweeps of the Halos and the O’s, were 90 feet away from tying up game 7 of the World Series against arguable one of the best postseason pitchers of any era in Madison Bumgarner, as well as an undefeated start to the 2015 season at 7-0.
Despite losing talent including Nori Aoki, and their ace “Big Game” James Shields, the Royals have managed to prove to front offices, coaches, and especially the media that they still mean business. On average, the Royals were picked to place 4th in this year’s American League Central. Every team seemed to add major additions to their weaknesses in the offseason with some big names coming to the division like the Chi Soxs’ David Robertson and Jeff Samardzija, Twins’ Ervin Santana and the Tigers’ Anthony Gose and Shane Greene (Via Trade). Even though the Royals lost Shields and Aoki, they added Edinson Volquez and Kris Medlen, who hopes to restart his career after major injuries. They also added big bats in Kendrys Morales and Alex Rios.
Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain are both off to great starts batting wise as both hitters are over .400 just little over a week into the new season. Volquez and Ventura are among the league leaders in ERA to start the season, and the bullpen is its usual lights out self, led by Holland who has shut the door on three games this year and hasn’t allowed a hit.
In order for the Royals to make it back to the postseason, they will need to give run support. This team was one of the best last year after turning it to their bullpen, and it seems promising to say the same thing for the 2015 season. Royals fans can expect to be in the playoffs if starting pitchers can give them a quality start 4-5 times a week, they score more than 3 runs a game, and the bullpen stays healthy.
I-70 Baseball Writer Matthew Lacy’s AL Central Prediction
- Detroit Tigers (104-58) – X
- Kansas City Royals (94-68) – Z
- Chicago White Sox (90-72)
- Cleveland Indians (86-76)
- Minnesota Twins (75-87)
X – Denotes clinching division
Z – Denotes clinching wildcard