The Playoff Race: KC Royals spend One Week in First


We have been posting game recaps in the 9:30 slot. But, with the Kansas City Royals in a playoff race, we have decided to keep fans abreast of the Royals’ playoff chances and news about KC’s competitors.

More from Kansas City Royals

This is a new section—since Kansas City hasn’t sniffed post-season contention in 11 years, unless you count last season’s residence on the fringes of the race. Our content here will be evolving as I adjust to the new format.

Hope you enjoy!

The KC Royals took over first place on Monday, August 11 for the first time this late in the season since 2003. Not only did the Royals hang onto first, they added a much needed power bat by trading for Josh Willingham with the Twins, and KC extended their precarious .5 game lead to 1.5 games.

Talk about a good week! Best one for a KC fan in 29 years.


1KCR6855.553W 14.13.933-2835-2717-2149-3819-1738-3530-208-221-9
2DET6656.5411.5L 14.64.333-2933-2719-1741-3825-1836-3330-234-613-17
3CLE6261.5046.0L 14.34.237-2425-3718-1746-4116-2031-3831-235-516-14
4CHW5965.4769.5W 14.34.731-2928-3621-1842-4917-1636-3823-274-615-15
5MIN5567.45112.5L 14.24.626-3229-3517-1937-4518-2233-4322-244-613-17

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table.

Holy crap. The Royals have gained 8 games on the Tigers in the last 30. One of the more interesting things that this table shows us is that KC is 10 games over .500 against winning teams, and only 3 games over .500 against losing teams.

Kansas City is also better against righties than lefties, and the team still lags in 1-run games at 4 games under .500.

Notice that Cleveland is still hanging onto the fringe of the race. While 6 games out seems like a lot, look at what KC has done in the last month. Remember also that Cleveland won their last 10 games in 2013 to seize a wild card.

They’re not out yet.


Let’s take a peek at how the wild card is shaping up.

1LAA7250.590L 14.74.041-2331-2722-1851-3421-1632-3740-135-517-13
2OAK7351.589L 54.83.540-2133-3017-1753-3620-1541-3332-183-715-15
3BAL7052.574W 14.33.834-2636-2624-1851-3719-1542-3528-176-419-11
4KCR6855.553W 14.13.933-2835-2717-2149-3819-1738-3530-208-221-9
5 SEA6756.545W 14.03.234-3233-2414-2240-4027-1639-2828-288-217-13
6 DET6656.5410.5L 14.64.333-2933-2719-1741-3825-1836-3330-234-613-17
7 NYY6359.5163.5W 23.94.229-2934-3020-1647-4216-1731-3332-265-517-13
8 TOR6461.5124.0L 14.54.433-2631-3511-1247-4517-1632-3732-243-715-15
9 CLE6261.5045.0L 14.34.237-2425-3718-1746-4116-2031-3831-235-516-14
10 TBR6163.4926.5L 24.03.828-3433-2917-1646-4615-1735-4726-166-419-11
11 CHW5965.4768.5W 14.34.731-2928-3621-1842-4917-1636-3823-274-615-15
12 BOS5667.45511.0L 13.94.329-3327-3424-2337-4619-2131-4725-206-414-16
13 MIN5567.45111.5L 14.24.626-3229-3517-1937-4518-2233-4322-244-613-17
14 HOU5273.41616.0W 14.04.729-3623-3713-2137-5115-2230-5022-235-512-18
15 TEX4876.38719.5W 14.05.123-3825-3816-1835-5313-2327-4921-273-710-20

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table.

Kansas City and Seattle are the hot teams here with both going 8-2 in their last 10 games. Notice that the top 4 teams are division leaders (Oak and LA are tied for first in the West), with Seattle holding the 2nd wild card. KC has a 1 game lead over the Mariners.

The thing that jumps out at me here is how Seattle murders left-handed pitchers, but is only a .500 club against righties. That could really hurt Seattle in either a playoff series, or even a wild card play-in game. Most managers will load up on righties in any playoff vs. the Mariners.

Also notice that Tampa Bay has been nearly as hot as KC their last 30 games with a 19-11 record. The Rays have returned from the dead and are within striking distance of the wild card at 6.5 back.

It’s a long shot, but I wouldn’t count out GM Andrew Friedman’s boys just yet.