We are nine days away from the start of the 2016 MLB season, and the LT Profits Group continue to profile every team to help with your MLB picks. Next up is the Kansas City Royals.
It is almost time to play ball as the start of the 2016 MLB season is just nine days away with three games Sunday, April 3rd, followed by the rest of the league starting play Monday, April 4th. In an attempt to help with your MLB picks, we are here profiling all 30 MLB teams before opening day continuing now with the defending World Champion Kansas City Royals, who finished first in the American League Central in 2015 at 95-67 before winning the World Series.
For starters, here is a summary of the Kansas City betting statistics for the 2015 season. Note that these stats are always for regular season games only and that the units won or lost are based on betting one unit every game, with those units and Over/Under records based on the closing lines from Pinnacle.
Kansas City Royals 2015 Betting Stats
After making the playoffs for the first time since winning the 1985 World Series as a wild card two years ago before losing to the Giants in the 2014 Fall Classic, the Royals won their first division title in 30 years last year and this time finished the deed by winning in their return to the World Series, beating the New York Mets in five games.
Now let us take a look at the Royals’ statistical summary for the 2015 season.
2015 Kansas City Royals Team Statistics
|Runs per Game||4.47||7th|
The Royals do not hit a lot of home runs but they know how to manufacture runs with a very professional lineup that ranked third in the Major League in batting average and 10th in OPS last season. The starting pitching was actually very ordinary for the most part, but Kansas City overcame that with quite possibly the best bullpen in baseball, meaning that the starters usually didn’t need more than six effective innings.
2016 Kansas City Royals World Series Futures
The Royals have been a team whose sum has outperformed its parts each of the last two years. To wit, even after reaching the World Series two years ago, the Royals only had a posted win total of around 81 last year, a mark that they shattered. Well, here we go again as even after this time winning the World Series, the early posted Kansas City win total is 87 this year, or eight less wins than they actually had last year.
2016 Kansas City Royals Batting Forecast
The Royals made a nice move in re-signing Alex Gordon, so the Kansas City lineup this year will look the same as it did while winning the last two American League pennants. Gordon is legitimate and his ZiPS projections are calling for him to finish with a 3.1 WAR this year, one of three Royals projected to finish with a WAR north of 3.0 led by Lorenzo Cain (3.6) and Salvador Perez (3.2).
The issue may be the rest of the lineup though, at least on paper. The Kansas City lineup resembles a list of role players besides the top three hitters mentioned, bur for whatever reason, the combination of all those mediocre parts has been excellent the last two years. Will that happen again in 2016 or will this relatively low posted win total for the Royals end up proving to be justified?
2016 Kansas City Royals Pitching Forecast
We mentioned that the starting pitching was not that great last year and the only notable addition to the rotation this year is journeyman Ian Kennedy. And remember that post-season hero Johnny Cueto is now departed, although he was frankly mediocre at best in a Kansas City uniform during the regular season after coming over from the Reds, so maybe Kennedy could surpass Cueto’s 2015 regular season numbers for Kansas City this year.
The bullpen remains the strength of the team as Wade Davis has established himself as an elite closer over the last two years and the bullpen has a bunch of flame-throwers leading up to Davis, with the primary set-up man being Kelvin Herrera, who topped 100 MPH quite frequently with his fastball last year while averaging 97.6 MPH.