The KC Royals might not make the playoffs in 2021, but they’re going to be a thorn in teams’ sides throughout the course of the season.
Let’s cut to the chase here. No, the Kansas City Royals aren’t winning the World Series in 2021. They might not even make the playoffs. Heck, they might not even have a winning record this year.
BUT, there is good news with this team. The Royals are going to be competitive in 2021 and MLB.com even said they’ll be “feisty” this year. Of course, this was sort of a back-handed compliment, as Will Leitch and Mike Petriello had the Royals ranked No. 21 in their World Series favorites rankings.
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"The Royals will score a lot of runs this year, and they’ll be feisty. Who knows? Maybe Cleveland implodes, the White Sox turn on La Russa and Josh Donaldson and Byron Buxton are hurt all year in Minnesota. More likely: The Royals are a little better than you think they are, but not nearly good enough."
This is a fair assessment. Obviously we all want the Royals to be good this year. We haven’t seen them make the playoffs in half a decade now and they haven’t had a winning record since 2015 when they won the World Series. As long as the Royals are competitive this season, most fans will probably be content and feel good about the season.
The KC Royals have the talent to be competitive, but they’re still a pretty young team and play in a tough division.
There’s a lot to like about this team for sure. Their bullpen was a highlight in 2020 and they managed to keep most of that group together while also bringing back Wade Davis (whose looked good in spring training) and seeing if there’s anything left in the tank with their former All-Star closer.
The Royals knew their lineup needed some juice, so they went out and traded for Andrew Benintendi. He might have struggled last year, but he was injured. If they get the early version of Benintendi, this team really could be sneaky good and their offense could be one that teams learn not to take lightly.
Leitch notes that the rotation probably won’t be all that feared this year and took an unnecessary jab at Danny Duffy (included below), which wasn’t even a true statement, as Brad Keller is the team’s ace. The rotation might be the “weak spot” in 2021, but this will be an important year for this group.
"It’s no wonder Danny Duffy said he wanted to be buried a Royal: It’s the only place he’d be a No. 1 starter."
The Royals are highly regarded as the fourth-best team in their own division. Doing the math, being the fourth-best in the division makes it tough to earn a playoff spot and that’s going to be the Royals’ biggest hurdle in 2021 and for the foreseeable future.
Like Leitch mentioned, the Royals have to hope for the other three teams ahead of them to implode during the season and while that’s likely for one or two teams, it’s not for three teams. Fans shouldn’t have high expectations as far as making the postseason goes, but this team can definitely outperform their projections and be in playoff contention through the summer.
The Kansas City Royals might not be World Series favorites this year, but they most definitely have a chance to be a thorn in the side of contending teams.