2015 MLB Team Season Previews – Royals
The Royals epic post season run fell 90 feet short as they watched the tying run get stranded at 3rd base in game 7 of the 2014 World Series. Now, Kansas City will look to use that momentum and swagger that got them to the World Series and hope to repeat their performance in 2015.
MLB Lines & Matchup Insight
2015 MLB Team Previews – KC Royals
AL Central: +450
American League: +1400
World Series: +3300
Key Additions: Alex Rios, Kendrys Morales
The Royals deemed the term “swag” to describe their 2014 post season run. With Ace James Shields now elsewhere, the Royals will turn to their young core to step up just as much as they did last season. Can they repeat the same?
Projected Starting Line-Up
1. Alcides Escobar SS
2. Alex Gordon OF
3. Kendrys Morales DH
4. Eric Hosmer 1B
5. Salvador Perez C
6. Alex Rios OF
7. Omar Infante 2B
8. Mike Moustakas 3B
9. Lorenzo Cain OF
With the additions of Alex Rios and Kendrys Morales, the Kansas City Royals have the potential to have one of the best lineups in baseball.
The lineup offers speed with Alcides Escobar, Omar Infante, and Lorenzo Cain. Alcides Escobar stole 31 bases, Infante contributed 9, and Lorenzo Cain swiped 28. The Royals speed will cause catchers problems and give them many opportunities to hit and run.
The Royals did a nice job filling the role of Billy Butler. Butler’s numbers were down in 2014 and they decided to go in a different direction and sign Kendrys Morales for 2 years, $17 million dollars. The Royals are hoping Morales can live up to his contract and produce with Eric Hosmer protecting him in the lineup. Morales hit only 8 home runs in 2014.
The Royals lineup offers some solid opportunities for production and 1-9 they can hit for average.
Projected Starting Rotation:
1. Yordano Ventura
2. Danny Duffy
3. Edinson Volquez
4. Jason Vargas
5. Jeremy Guthrie
6. Chris Young
The Royals starting rotation prepares for life after “Big Game” James Shields. They’ll turn to young gun Yordano Ventura to lead the staff. The Royals showed confidence in Ventura by giving him a five year extension. In 2014, Venture went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA.
Number 3 starter Edinson Volquez and the Royals agreed to a 2 year, $20 million dollar contract this offseason. Volquez struggled mightily in 2013, but had a solid bounce back year in 2014 going 13-7 with a 3.04 ERA. For $20 million dollars, the Royals are taking a major risk that Volquez from 2014 will show up and not the 2013 one.
The rotation offers some depth with Chris Young coming over from Seattle. Young had some good stats with Seattle going 12-9 with a 3.65 ERA. Injuries or struggles from one of the starters would offer Young a chance to slip into the rotation.
Greg Holland RP
Wade Davis RP
Kevin Herrera RP
Those three right there were the major key to the 2014 success for the Royals.
The game was essentially over if the Royals were leading after 6 innings. Kevin Herrera would handle the 7th inning duties, Davis would take the 8th, and Greg Holland would slam the door close. Neither of the three had an ERA above 1.50 in the 2014 season. If the three can do anywhere close to the same in 2015, teams could be in for some trouble.
As far as the middle of the bullpen is concerned, Jason Frasor, Chris Young, and Franklin Morales. With the starting role experience under his belt, Young will be handling the long relief duties. Morales, a lefty, will likely be a matchup guy in the 5th or 6th inning. That typically isn’t a time to match up, but with the back end of the bullpen solidified, the Royals have the ability to do it.
The Royals have the lineup and bullpen to easily do some damage. Like their Central counterparts Cleveland, Chicago, and Detroit, it’s going to be a dog fight for the title. That being said, the Wild Card is also an option here.
Kansas City will only go as far as their young starting pitching will take them. The key is getting to the 7th inning with the lead. Kansas City did such a great job doing that last season, which in turn led to their 2nd half run.
Expect the Royals to be right in the thick of things the whole season, but the starting rotation is very unproven and will likely lead to the Royals sitting this postseason out.
We’ll be providing 4* free plays on the blog all season long, and check out our EXPERTS for guaranteed premium baseball plays!