Predicting the Royals' 2024 Rotation: Expect Big Improvement

Cole Ragans hopes to build on an incredible first two months as a Royal
Cole Ragans hopes to build on an incredible first two months as a Royal / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Michael Wacha

Wacha may already be the best quote in the entire organization. He also comes over from the Padres and admittedly, has a more impressive resume than even Lugo does.

He'll make $1 million more per year than Lugo, though the shorter deal makes me give the nod to Lugo for opening day. That being said, these two former Padres feel interchangeable and I could see either one getting the nod.

Let's take a moment and recognize how great that is: the Royals have TWO quality opening day options! Wacha joined the organization in a stunning deal that proves Picollo wants to compete for a division title as soon as this year.

Over the last two years, Wacha posted a 25-6 record with an ERA right around 3.3. He's the most proven starter in the rotation, ranking in the 98th percentile in off-speed run value last season.

The fact that both Wacha and Lugo specialize in off-speed pitches shows you how much the Royals believe in their defense. A clear path is being forged: force weak contact and let the defense do its thing.

Our third starter is my personal favorite in the entire rotation, as you'll see on the next page.