If not for the hapless Tigers in their division, the Royals would’ve looked even worse last season. Kansas City finished 26th in runs scored (691) and 27th in collective wOBA (.302) offensively, and 27th in collective ERA (5.20) in 2019. Their bullpen finished only slightly better with a 5.07 ERA, but Ian Kennedy shifted into a closing role and thrived.
The Royals will hope that some young arms can find success at the major league level in this shortened season. Their three first round picks in 2018, Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, and Daniel Lynch, combined to post a 3.14 ERA, 8.65 K/9 ratio, and 3.4 K/BB ratio over 393 Innings in the minors last season. They should also get more bullpen help if dispatched closers Greg Holland and/or Trevor Rosenthal can regain their rhythm.
The Royals are massive longshots to win the World Series with +50000 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook. That means a $10 bet would profit $5,000 in the unlikely event that KC wins it all. The Royals are also longshots to win the American League with +25000 odds. They’re being given +9000 odds to win the AL Central this year.
If you believe the Royals can overachieve in this short season, you could bet the Over on their projected win total. Oddsmakers at DK have them projected for 23.5 wins over 60 games, with -118 odds for going Over that total and -106 odds for going Under. So a $20 bet on the Royals to win 23 games or fewer would cash $38.86 if successful.
Adalberto Mondesi is the favorite to lead the majors in stolen bases this year with +200 odds at DK and Whit Merrifield is tied with Jose Altuve and Nolan Arenado with +1200 odds to lead the majors in hits.
The Royals had four players test positive for COVID-19 in the past month as C Salvador Perez, P Brad Keller, 1B Ryan O’Hearn and C Cam Gallagher have all been forced to quarantine. Most of the players that tested positive are expected to be ready to go by early August.
Royals odds: Futures
Kansas City Royals
Kansas City Royals
Kansas City Royals betting breakdown
2019 Record: 59-103
Key losses: RHP Brad Boxberger, IF Cheslor Cuthbert
Key additions: RHP Chance Adams, 3B Maikel Franco, RHP Greg Holland, RHP Trevor Rosenthal
1. CF Whit Merrifield (R)
2. SS Adalberto Mondesi (S)
3. DH Jorge Soler (R)
4. F Hunter Dozier (R)
5. F Alex Gordon (L)
6. C Salvador Perez (R)
7. 1B Ryan O’Hearn (L)
8. 3B Maikel Franco (R)
9. 2B Nicky Lopez (L)
Projected rotation: RHP Brad Keller, LHP Danny Duffy, RHP Jakob Junis, LHP Mike Montgomery, RHP Glenn Sparkman
Projected closer: RHP Ian Kennedy
Bullpen strengths: Ian Kennedy bounced back in 2019 and held down the closer role with a 3.41 ERA, 30 Saves and a career-high 139 ERA+ (Athlon). Scott Barlow will be one of the more reliable arms; he posted a 4.22 ERA in 70.1 IP in 2019.
Bullpen weaknesses: Jorge Lopez is coming off a rough 2019 campaign including a 6.33 ERA in 39 Games (123.2 IP) with 140 Hits allowed nut 109 SO. The bullpen is probably going to see a few call-ups from arms who start in the minors.
Key Stats from 2019
- The Royals’ pitching staff had the 4th-worst ERA in MLB last season with 5.20.
- The lineup had the 4th-worst OPS in MLB with .710.
- The Royals three first round picks of 2018 (Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar & Daniel Lynch) combined for 3.14 ERA, 8.65 SO per Nine, 3.4 Strikeout-toWalk ratio in 393 Innings in the Minors in 2019 (Athlon).