These Royals aren’t just good: They’re historically goodFollow @RoyalsBlue_com
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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