It’s crazy to think that the Royals are in a playoff race for the second straight season. Crazy is reality though, because the Royals are just 0.5 GB Toronto for the second wildcard spot, and only 3.5 GB Detroit for the division lead.
Per Josh Vernier (@JoshVernier610) of 610 Sports Radio (@610SportsKC), the Royals are currently exactly where they were at this time last year, with a 59-53 record. The difference, however, is the margin in which they trailed both the second wildcard spot and division lead last year. 6.5 games, and 8.5 games, respectively.
So what do all of these numbers tell us? Two things.
1. The Royals are the same exact team that they were last year. With the same record that they had this time last year, that means the team is also on pace to finish with the same number of wins, 86. Given their recent performances and the notion that they are a “second-half” team, they might be able to squeak out a few more, and get to 90-92 wins by the end of the season. Last year it took 92 games to win the wildcard, and 93 to secure the division. However, these numbers might not mean much, because of observation two.
2. The teams ahead of the Royals aren’t as good as last year. The margin in which the Royals trail this year compared to last year tells us that the teams ahead of them are on pace to win less games this season (at least, that’s the logic that makes sense to me). Continuing with the logic that I’ve proposed (which might be, and probably is flawed) the Royals would still be able to secure a wildcard or division spot, even if they only get to 86 wins. Realistically, they might need 89 or 90, but you get the picture.
The Royals chances of making the playoffs this year are better than last because the teams ahead of them are statistically having a worse season than last year, if you look at the number of games the Royals are trailing by.
Granted, you can never be too sure with the Royals, but this fan base needs something to grasp and hold on to right now. It seems as though the Royals are trying their hardest to stay in this race, and we’d all love to see a playoff game for Kansas City.
It’s always hard to buy into this team, because you just never know which team you’re going to get on any given day. With great hesitation, I have to say that I’m buying in.
With just over a month left in the season, it’s going to be one hell of a ride. Let’s all just hope it’s a good one.