Who To Root For: Royals Need a Miracle


Sep 22, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; The Kansas City Royals celebrate after Justin Maxwell (not pictured) hit a walk off grand slam against the Texas Rangers during the 10th inning at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals beat the Rangers 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

First: Justin Maxwell.

Second: Do you believe in miracles?

A series win over the Texas Rangers this weekend kept the Royals in the wild card hunt, but the Rays and Indians still pulled a little bit further away with three more wins. Kansas City is now in a position where they are going to need a lot of help if they are going to make the playoffs. Here’s the current standings (not including today’s afternoon Rays/Orioles game):

TB: 86-69 (+0.5)

CLE: 86-70 (–)


TEX: 84-71 (1.5)

KC: 82-73 (3.5)

With seven games remaining, making up 3.5 games is going to be very difficult. But there are some things in the Royals favor. First, all tie-breakers are settled on the field. While the Royals may have a losing record against the Indians for the season, they would still have a one-game playoff (in Cleveland) to settle who is the wild card team. KC has tie-breakers over Tampa Bay and Texas, so a tie with them means a one-game playoff in Kansas City.

Second, the Royals have a favorable schedule: Four against Seattle, three against the White Sox. Going at least 6-1 is very doable for the Royals.

Finally, the Royals are playing with house money. The pressure is on Tampa and Texas to keep/regain their playoff spots. No one is going to blame the Royals if they fall short, but all hell may break loose if Texas and Tampa fail to make the playoffs.

So what do the Royals need? Well it is pretty simple.


A perfect week from the Royals means two of Texas, Cleveland and Tampa have to finish with a record at or below the following marks:

Tampa: 3-4 (Sked: 1 vs BAL, 3 at NYY, 3 at TOR)

Cleveland: 3-3 (2 vs CHW, 4 at MIN)

Texas 5-2 (3 vs. HOU, 4 vs. LAA)

Doable? Maybe, but the Royals are going to have to play some really good baseball and hope for some help. But asking for two of those teams to go .500 or worse isn’t a terribly impossible task.


This is what KC would need if they dropped a game between now and the end of the season:

TB: 2-5

CLE: 2-4

Texas 4-3

As you can see, one loss for the Royals really kills their chances to make the playoffs. Again, it isn’t impossible, but the odds become extremely low.


Worst Scenario: Royals lose two games.

Best Scenario: Royals win out, TB and Texas finish under .500 in their final games.

Dream Scenario: Royals win out, TB finishes 2-5, Cleveland 2-4, Rangers 4-3.

These would be the standings at the end of the season if the dream scenario played out:

KC: 89-73

CLE: 88-74


TB: 88-74

TEX: 88-74

Kansas City would host the wild card play-in game and would have to watch CLE, TB, and TEX expend good pitchers trying to earn the right to play KC in the wild card game. Plus, it would be crazy fun to watch as a baseball fan.

Don’t stop believin’…