Royals fans are an interesting lot, to say the least. Almost three decades without a postseason berth could turn a saint into a cynic, so you really can’t blame any of them for thinking that with each loss, the apocalypse looms near. And hey, the Royals aren’t without their serious issues. Let us examine (explanations in parentheses for my non-stat guys out there. Hey guys!):
- 3-7 in their last 10 games
- 18-22 vs. the AL Central
- 10-20 in 1-run games
- 23rd in wOBA (they don’t hit)
- 20th in ISO (they don’t hit for power)
- 24th in wRC+ (they’re below average at creating runs, duh)
Add to all of this, that three players considered to be cornerstones to the Royals 2014 success (Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas, and Eric Hosmer), have flopped. Hard.
Still, the Royals sit just 3.5 back of the second Wild Card spot. While their recent play is certainly cause for concern, I’m not sure it warrants some of the tweets of impending doom I have been seeing. I am going to refrain from embedding those select tweets because I respect the baseball opinions of most of the people who posted them, and I’m not really in the business of calling people out (except Darren Rovell, of course).
With all of that said, the Royals are, once again, just 3.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot. So before we all go pretending that we like soccer because Sporting KC is good (I’m looking at all of you, Kansas City), let us examine a few things actually trending in the Royals favor:
- In July, Eric Hosmer has decided to hit. He has posted a .424 BA and a 1.120 OPS to go along with a .487 wOBA, .230 ISO, and 215 wRC+. That’s a start.
- The Royals next 10 games are against the White Sox, Indians, and Twins. All winnable.
- In the last 10 years, 16 (that’s a one and a six) teams have made the Postseason who were at least 3 GB of a Postseason spot on July 21. Don’t believe me? Check out my handy dandy chart below. You can trust it because it’s a chart, made in Excel, which basically makes it science.
So, while miles and miles of postseason futility will tell you that this thing was over before it started, all is not lost yet. Until the Royals lose tonight, in which case all is definitely lost.