Coming in at number two the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals.
Projected Record: 94-68 1st in the AL Central (AL Central Champs)
Potential Lineup: SS Escobar #2, 3B Moustakas #8, CF Cain #6, 1B Hosmer #35, DH Morales #25, LF Gordon #4, C Perez #13, 2B Infante #14, RF Dyson #1
Potential Rotation: 1.Volquez #36, 2.Ventura #30, 3.Kennedy #31, 4.Duffy #41, 5.Young #32
Potential Bullpen: CL Davis #17, 8th Herrera #40 , 7th Soria #48 Mid Relief: Hochevar #44, Medlen #39, Alexander #54, Gee #TBD
Potential Bench: IF Colon #24, C Cruz #7, OF Fuentes #34, OF Orlando #16
After a 2014 season where the Kansas City Royals shocked the baseball world coming just one game short of taking home the World Series trophy the club was able to capture the crown they failed to grab in 2014 in 2015 defeating the Mets in a five game fall classic to bring home the franchise’s second World Series Trophy. The two time defending American League Champions and defending World Champions will look to make it a third straight trip to the fall classic in 2016. The Royals offense was a huge reason why the team won it all a year ago. They weren’t the most powerful, and finished 7th in the majors in runs scored but they were the toughest to get out. As a team the Royals only struck out 973 times. The team with the second least strikeouts as an offense the Atlanta Braves finished at 1,107 strikeouts. The fact the Royals as a team stuck out less than a 1,000 times is incredible. Going into 2016 the Royals still have nearly the same offense as a year ago. Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez, and Alex Gordon were all named all stars in 2015 and will all be back to help lead a Royals offense that refuses to quit or strikeout. As for the starting pitching this is probably the Royals biggest area of concern. The team will be without Johnny Cueto who they traded for at last seasons trade deadline and helped them epically in the postseason take home the World Series crown. That will put a lot of pressure on Edinson Volquez who had a very solid first year in Kansas City pitching to a 3.55 ERA, also pressure will be on Yordano Ventura, and newly acquired Ian Kennedy Ventura suffered from a sophomore slump in 2015 with an ERA over 4, and Kennedy out in San Diego also struggled pitching to a 4.28 ERA, and a terrible record of 9-15. In order to improve upon the 2015 season where the Royals finished 22nd in starters ERA they will need their top three starters to have strong seasons. As for the bullpen that is what makes the Royals so special. The ability to shorten games. Greg Holland is no longer apart of the club but the Royals did find a solid replacement to take his spot in now second stint Royal Joakim Soria who pitched to a 2.53 ERA between Detroit and Pittsburgh in 2015. The team also has Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis to of the best relievers in the game Davis may even be the best in the game as he posted an ERA under 1 a season ago at 0.94. With a strong offense and lockdown bullpen the Royals just need their starting pitchers to give them a solid 5-6 innings each night to be successful. If that happens the team has a great chance at going back to the fall classic for a third straight year.