It’s been said a million times before and will be said countless times again. The best way to the playoffs is through your division. Simply put, beat the teams in your division more often then they beat you. That is the tried and true blueprint to the playoffs, regardless of sport.
It is unfortunately where the Royals have been lacking so far this season. They have been completely dominated by the Twins 1-7. They have scuffled against the Tigers 2-4. They have held their own against the Indians at 5-4, but have slipped too many away to the White Sox at 3-5.
Put that all together and you land at an 11-20 record in division play. Not only that, but in those 20 losses, the team has been outscored 137-52.
That is downright bad. Frankly, it’s surprising the team is even sniffing .500 given that performance.
But we are. This team continues with its history of defying numbers & crunchers and finding ways to win baseball games.
Even with a .355 winning percentage in AL Central games, the Royals sit only one game under .500 (thanks in large part to the Padres, Giants, Angels and Rays) and only 3.5 games behind the division leading Indians.
Duffy will be back soon. The bullpen seems to be settling in. Hammel and Kennedy look to have righted the ship. Salvy and Moose are having the best offensive years of their young careers. Hosmer is still Hosmer. Cain is still Cain. Whit keeps meeting his nickname’s quota. Believe it or not, even Esky has been en fuego for a few weeks now.
Surprising as it is, the Royals are still very much in this.
Yet again, defying the numbers and conventional wisdom of the baseball world.
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