These Royals aren’t just good: They’re historically good

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Regardless of how the postseason turns out, this Royals team has been historically dominant

Every Royals fan knows that this year’s team is good.

They know they’re really good.  They know they’re really, really good.  What you may or may not know is just how historically good this team is.

Going into the game on August 11th, the Royals are on pace for 97 wins.  Only 2 Royals teams (the 1977 and 1980 Royals) have ever won 97 games in a single regular season.

The Royals have also been in 1st place for a total of 109 games so far this season.  Only 3 Royals seasons prior to this season (the 1976, 1980, and 2003 Royals) had ever held on to 1st place for more than 100 days.

The Royals 12 game lead is also historic.  Only the 1980 Royals have ever held a lead in the division larger than 12 games.

If the Royals finish with 97 wins and a Central Division, here is how they would stack up with the rest of the division champions.

Year                            Record                        Largest Lead             Days in 1st

1977 Royals                102-60                         11 Games                    51

1980 Royals                97-65                           20 Games                    137

2015 Royals*              97-65*                         12 Games*                  164*

1978 Royals                92-70                           6 Games                      99

1985 Royals                91-71                           3 Games                      30

1976 Royals                90-72                           12 Games                    140

1984 Royals                84-78                           3 Games                      26

* – Projected finish based on games played through August 10, 2015

This team is on-pace to be the most dominant team in Royals history.  There are a lot of outside factors that make this up.  The strength of the American League Central was greatly over-estimated preseason.  Only the Royals currently have a winning record as Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit have greatly under performed and only the Royals currently have a winning record.

This isn’t to say that this is the greatest team of all time in Royals history.  The 1977 Royals can make a case for that after winning 102 games.  The 1980 Royals were as dominant a team as Royals fans have ever seen.  They dominated the regular season and then continued that dominance through the ALCS before being defeated by the Phillies in the World Series.

However, make no mistake, this team can make a strong case as being the best team in Royals history.  They have lost no more than 4 games in a row.  They own a 12 game lead on their nearest opponent.  In fact, only 5 teams total in the American League trail their division leader by 12 games or more.  4 of the 5 trail the Royals in the Central Division (the other team is Boston trailing the Yankees in the East).  Only 5 teams have ever won the Central by more than 12 games.  Here’s how the Royals stack up with them.

Year                Team                          Runner-Up                Games Ahead

1995                Cleveland Indians       Kansas City Royals     30

1996                Cleveland Indians       Chicago White Sox     14.5

1999                Cleveland Indians       Chicago White Sox     21.5

2002                Minnesota Twins         Chicago White Sox     13.5

2011                Detroit Tigers              Cleveland Indians       15

2015*              Kansas City Royals     Minnesota Twins         12

* – Lead through August 10, 2015

Yes, the Central is down this year.  However, that still doesn’t change the fact that the Royals have to win games.  The thing that all of the teams above have in common are that they won the games they were supposed to win.  Here’s how those 5 teams finished against teams with losing records:

Year                Team                          Overall Record          Record vs. Division

1995                Cleveland Indians       100 – 44                      37 – 14

1996                Cleveland Indians       99 – 62                        32 – 20

1999                Cleveland Indians       97 – 65                        33 – 16

2002                Minnesota Twins         94 – 67                        50 – 25

2011                Detroit Tigers              95 – 67                        50 – 22

2015*              Kansas City Royals     67 – 44                        31 – 18

* – Games played through August 10, 2015

You can say what you want about the division being down, but, good teams don’t have this kind of record.

September may not be as much fun as it was last year when the Royals were chasing the Wild Card and finishing a game behind Detroit for the Central.  However, this team has been fun to watch all year.  They aren’t just good, these Royals are historically good.

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Christopher Till

Author: Christopher Till

Christopher is a lifelong Royals fan who loves long walks on the beach, sunsets, and trips to #DongTown. He also loves writing about the Royals (pants optional). Ian Kennedy once ruined a perfect game Chris had going (though, to be fair, Chris' pitch came before the game with nobody in the batter's box). His favorite Royals' memory is sitting in Section 401 with his daughter when Salvador Perez laced a line drive past Josh Donaldson to win the 2014 American League Wild Card Game.

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