Another year, another PECOTA projection counting out the KC Royals right before spring training begins. At this point, you’d think Royals fans would be used to it, but it still hurts.
PECOTA has never been a fan of the Kansas City Royals or their style of play. That’s why it’s no surprise that they’ve yet again dismissed the Royals for the 2017 season and have them placing dead last in the American League Central with a 71-91 record.
That’s 20 games under .500 for the Royals, at least according to the projections from Baseball Prospectus.
The projections have the Indians dominating in the Central with a 92-70 record and the other four teams in the division having losing records. It’s not surprising after watching how clutch the Indians were last season, but having the Royals in last place is a little harsh.
They’re a different type of Major League club and that’s why we love them here in Kansas City.
Even last year with a lot of impact players injured, the Kansas City Royals managed to finish the season with an 81-81 record. It wasn’t a World Series ring or even a playoff appearance, but it was better than what they should have finished with considering all of the injuries that occurred.
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The Royals will also have had their first full offseason since the end of the 2013 season. That’s got to help them when preparing for the long baseball season. The Royals had played the entire season in both 2014 and 2015, which explains why they might have had a hangover in 2016.
As for the rest of the projections in MLB, the Red Sox are projected to win the AL East and the Astros are projected to win the AL West. The National League winners are the Cubs (Central), Dodgers (West), and Mets (East), and PECOTA is really high on the Dodgers. They have them slated to win 98 games in 2017, which will make my Dodgers fan brother extremely happy.
Another interesting thing is that the Twins are supposedly going to be the second best team in the division after having a miserable 2016 campaign. The Tigers, White Sox, and Royals are all pretty close together when it comes to their final records.
Scott Dillon wrote about the Royals being labeled as pretenders for the 2017 season and summed up the past PECOTA projections well.
"If their recent past performances are an indication of what we as fans can expect when no one’s giving them a chance, then buckle up. It’s going to be a wild ride."
That statement perfectly encompasses what the Royals are about. They’re a different team than what traditional baseball fans are used to, and that’s why they’re never given any love before the season. They’re a different type of Major League club and that’s why we love them here in Kansas City.
What do you make of the projections, Royals fans? Are you angry or do you not really care about these silly PECOTA rankings anymore?