The Royals got the monkey off of their back & the team has come up with timely innings. Is the 'over' as good as it appears? Let's check MLB odds to see if 'over' is the best choice.
Hats Off To Salvador Perez
People might be thinking why am I mentioning Perez first? This is a player that took a beating as a catcher as foul balls were continuously “putting the pain” on the 6 foot 3, 240 pound Perez. As the season progressed and in the post-season, Perez came through like a champ as he would shrug off the pain and deliver huge hits that helped the Royals beat teams such as the Toronto Blue Jays and eventually pick up their first World Series Title in 3 decades. This is the reason why MLB odds boards are in Kansas' favor today.
The statistics don't show it in his average, but Perez always seemed to be the guy to put the opposition away with a big hit in the post-season and let's not forget that he had 4 HR and 9 RBI in the post-season to go along with a .259 BA. For the season, Perez had 21 HR, 70 RBI, and .260 BA. As the season went on, I saw an average baseball player gain a major amount of confidence and look for him to carry the momentum over to 2016 as the Royals attempt to go “back to back”.
Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain
A ton of the offense (RBI's and contact especially) came from these two gamers and without this duo, the Royals would have no title. For the season, Hosmer had 18 HR, 93 RBI, and a .297 BA. He also showed the ability to pick up the timely hit and get on base as opposing pitchers afforded him the free pass as they knew that they were dealing with an All-Star.
As for Cain, with Jarod Dyson backing him up in center field, he provided the necessary speed on this team to pick up a needed run in a tight game. Lorenzo Cain finished up the season at 16 HR, 72 RBI, a .307 BA , and 28 SB. Cain also had 11 RBI in the post-season and his ability to get on base and then occupy the opposing pitcher's attention with his ability to steal bases, was a real thorn in the opposing team's side. I look for these guys, who are both in the primes of their career, to stay hungry. This isn't the most talented team in baseball, but last season, they came up with the biggest and most timely hits and that determines the champions.
No Ace But No Let Up
When you look at the Royals starting pitching rotation, they don't have a definitive ace, but they also have a handful of pitchers in Edison Volquez (13-9, 3.55 BA), Yordano Ventura (13-8, 4.05 ERA), Danny Duffy (7-8, 4.08 ERA), and Chris Young (11-6, 3.06 ERA) to throw at the opposition. When Young is considered a #5 pitchers at the back of the rotation, that speaks volumes. Let's not forget Kris Medlen (former Braves pitcher), who is capable of being a game changer. As I stated earlier, losing Cueto is no loss as he's more suited for the National League.
The Royals have 3 winning factors, which make them today's MLB pick. They have a balanced pitching staff, a formidable offense, and the ability to come through in clutch situations. With those 3 factors, this gives K.C. another chance to go back to the World Series. Over 85.5 Wins (-115) is a steal for the defending champs. My final pick here is The Kansas City Royals 'Over' 85.5.