We went to Surprise, Az. to give a look at two of the contenders and needless to say, we were impressed by what we saw. The MLB Odds are absorbing for both squads for different reasons. Let’s examine each team and try and help you with your sports picks.
Kansas City – Projected Win Total 80 wins – 4th in the AL Central
After being one game away from becoming World Series champions, there are two trains of thoughts on Kansas City having a royal encore.
One school of thought is more in line with the sportsbooks, who have the Royals pegged for a nine-game decline according to the MLB Odds. The losses of James Shields, Billy Butler and Nori Aoki will be felt, especially over the long-term of a season. What manager Ned Yost hopes is newcomer Alex Rios will be more of a force on a championship team and Edinson Volquez can step right in to a pitcher’s park with outstanding defensive players. Most see K.C. taking a step back in 2015.
The other viewpoint on the Royals is most of their everyday players are in at or near of their primes and either should duplicate their efforts from last year or even improve upon them in some cases. If this happens and DH Kendry Morales turns out to be a suitable replacement for Butler, the offense will be better than expected.
For most teams except for a few, finding five good starters is never easy, but the way the Royals bullpen performed last season, if Kansas City has a lead heading into the seventh inning, you have to like their chances, which is something to consider when making your MLB Picks.
Though there are questions, even we agree the Royals finishing below .500 does not sound correct and we would prefer the Over.
Game Notes: Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals
Royals’ starter Yordano Ventura was throwing hard, but his pitches were straight as arrows and Cleveland batters roughed him up for seven hits and four runs. Ventura had five strikeouts in three innings of work but was not impressive. Closer Greg Holland struck-out two in an inning of work and veteran Chris Young threw two innings but gave up three hits, including a home run in Kansas City’s 6-5 come from behind victory.
A quick observation sees Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer carrying themselves differently this spring, being more confident in their abilities.