Leftridge: With 49 Games Remaining, Can the Royals Really Do It?

1985-World-Series-RingAfter finishing a sweep of the Diamondbacks last night in Arizona, the Kansas City Royals are now two-and-a-half games back of the division leading Detroit Tigers and have a half-game lead over the Yankees, the Mariners and the Blue Jays for the second Wild Card spot.

Simply put, if the season ended today, the Kansas City Royals would be in the playoffs.

They are 60-53, matching their season-high mark for games over .500, and, since their disastrous post-All-Star Break sweep at the hands of the mostly-lowly Boston Red Sox, 12-3 over their last 15 contests. All in all, pretty crazy.

So what do they have to do to make their first playoff appearance in nearly 30 years? Well, win. Obviously.

There are 49 games remaining in the schedule.

26 of those games are against AL Central opponents, so obviously, this is where they can make up the most ground. They’ve got seven games left against Minnesota who they are 6-6 against this season. They’ve got six games left against the Cleveland Indians. So far this season, they are 7-6 against the Tribe. They are 8-4 against the White Sox this season, which is great because they play them seven more times. And finally—and this is the big one—they play the Tigers six more times. This is maybe NOT great because the Tigers have taken nine-of-thirteen from KC this season, and ICYMI, they added one of the best pitchers in baseball at the trade deadline.

Rounding things out, they play three against the Giants who are pretty good, four more against Oakland who are VERY good, two more against Colorado who suck really hard, SIX against Texas who they haven’t yet played but who are very bad, and four more apiece against Boston and the NYY. As previously mentioned, they were swept by the Bostons in their first rodeo, and they are 2-1 against the Yankees in 2014.

Royals White Sox BaseballAll in all, they have a 31-30 record against the teams on their remaining schedule. (Obviously, this only incorporates the teams they’ve played, because that’s the only thing that makes sense.) The average winning percentage of their remaining opponents is a very manageable .4883. According to ESPN’s magical playoff calculator—which factors in things like “strength of schedule” and “likelihood of more Nori Aoki grand slams,”— they have a 39% chance of making the postseason.

Here’s the deal: they MUST play better against the Indians and the Twins. There is absolutely no fathomable reason that they should be just one game over .500 against these two clubs. They cannot afford to be swept by the Red Sox again, and they have to stomp the ever-loving shit out of the god-awful Rangers.

They have to do these things.

Because I think they caught the Athletics at a really down spot the first time and I don’t expect them to take all four games, or even go 3-1 in the remaining series. (A split would be perfectly fine.)

Because they play the Yankees four more times and, while these aren’t your grandmother’s Yankees (or even your 25-year-old nephew’s Yankees), they’re a good ball club.

Nori-Aoki-Mike-MoustakasBecause Detroit owns the Royals this season and they’re even better than the last time the two teams met.

Because these are the Royals who don’t do things like “meet or exceed expectations,” or “go to the playoffs.”

All I know is, thank God they’re not playing Houston any more this year.

The target to get in has to be at least 90 wins. Therefore, the Royals must go 30-19 over the next two months.

So, I wanna know: do you think they can do it? 




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15 Responses to Leftridge: With 49 Games Remaining, Can the Royals Really Do It?

  1. Mysterious J says:

    On paper? No.

    However, baseball is not played on paper. A lot of Royals teams (hell, a lot of teams PERIOD) would have thrown in the towel after being embarrassed by the Tigers in 3 out of 4 ahead of the break, then losing their first 4 after the break. The fact they didn’t would tend to demonstrate more than a little bit of grit and character.

    IF they continue to hit like they have the last 2 weeks and IF the rotation stays healthy (and Duffy/Ventura don’t need to be shut down), they will capture that second Wild Card. This is likely to entitle them to a “one and done” in Anaheim, but the 29 year drought will be over.

  2. rkcal says:

    They can……IF the pitching holds up. IF the defense stays stellar. IF Butler continues to hit as he has recently. IF Moustakas continues to provide some pop as he has recently. IF the rest of the batting order is at least representative of their career averages. IF there are no major injuries to key players (note: it’s obvious Hosmer isn’t a key player). IF the pressure doesn’t get to them as it has every other time this year when they’ve got to this position. We’re back to where we always are with this club: they have a lot of ifs to be a true playoff team. But here they are, and hope springs eternal.

  3. mike t. says:

    lots of ‘ifs’ indeed, rkcal. that’s the problem and that’s the reason why even with a great performance over the past 15 games no one yet has confidence they can do it. they’ve shown so far this season that when the pressure is on, they get weak-kneed.

    and they don’t have a great record at home for a playoff-bound team. let’s see how they handle the giants and Oakland. if they come out on top in those two series’, I say they’ll finally end the drought.

    if they don’t, they won’t.

  4. Orphan of the Road says:

    The laws of nature say anything is possible.

    This romantic cynic will try and keep the negativity deep, down in a hole and just enjoy the ride.

    As sensi sez, we shall see.

  5. Kerouac says:

    Pointless or interminable activities are sometimes described as Sisyphean…welcome to the mythological sporting world of ‘anything is possible’. Here in Kansas City, we spell it R-o-y-a-l-s & C-h-i-e-f-s… trying to reach post season with no realistic expectation of success upon arrival their shared reality.

    KC has ‘Worlds of Fun’ but also has the worst of both sporting worlds baseball/football, if getting pummeled (Chiefs) or not getting pummeled (Royals) be the measure. Really, is it any better or worse, the one than the other? Case the latter, too many Tigers, A’s, Orioles and Angels in the way, 2014… across the parking lot, too many Broncos, Colts, Seahawks & 49ers, ad nauseam. Nigh on 30 years the Royals & 45 Chiefs, wash, rinse, repeat our rigor of a rite, own Sisyphus seasons not ending in the sun.

    If getting to post season is the goal, congrats (Royals may call that ‘progress’; imagining more would be delusion.) Professional sport today handing out post season berths as if candy, no team (or almost none) left behind, they make it less an accomplishment than a fait accompli, not so much creme de la creme as everybody and their brother the cha cha ching $uccess. If you play to win however and not merely place (and if you pay for what you get and then some, KC), “keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’, keep them hopes unfoldin’ keep that boulder rollin, uphill!”

    • bschloz says:

      I figured you would be on here trashing the Royals and Chiefs. Keep up the good work. Do you wish the World would go back to 19″ TV’s and 2 team playoffs.

      K how many games you think Chiefs will win this season. Wouldn’t be surprised if we sweep NFC West ..at least at home. 9-7

      As for Royals … SCOREBOARD
      Bring On The A’s

      • Kerouac says:

        “I figured you would be on here trashing the Royals and Chiefs.”

        – Kerouac’s Pavlovian knack ne’er disappoints…

        “Keep up the good work.”

        – talent does as it can, mine genius as it must…

        “Do you wish the World would go back to 19″ TV’s and 2 team playoffs.”

        – noir as well black & white in lieu color too… things started to go downhill in 1969, the pursuit of ca$h in lieu deservedness sports due a prescient nod the modern tack, no team/s ($) left behind.

        To wit, split divisions MLB and a special 1-year wildcard playoff format the AFL precursors the clusterfudge exists today. Chiefs would not even have reached post season ’69 let alone prevailed, said asterisk marking their only ‘World Championship’ still; sad.


        – yes, what is it now?

        “how many games you think Chiefs will win this season.”

        – not enough, per the usual…

        ” Wouldn’t be surprised if we sweep NFC West ..at least at home.”

        – ‘a definite maybe then’? Better, don’t be surprised when 44 years wandering in the NFL wilderness becomes 45, 2015…


        – 6 and 10; would say 7 up but as Chiefs same does not really quench the thirst, either…

        “As for Royals … ”

        – ‘they shoot horses, don’t they’?


        – Alvin Lee’s renown and then some provides the history lesson a Royal tale of woe: 10 years after x 3… 1985 by any other.

        “Bring On The A’s”

        – the words ‘Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, aft surviving the Vulcan version 7-year itch – “sometimes it is better to ‘want’ than to ‘have”. Upshot: KC the lambs to the A’s slaughter…

        Go now, sin and blaspheme no more…

  6. Nick says:


    • the dude says:

      Glass as walmart owner, Moore as inept GM and Yost at best a AA manager.

  7. CG says:

    K as always makes great sense. If getting to a wild card game is the goal. Well maybe. The pitching is outstanding. Hitting stinks, still. Hey anything can happen. The Chiefs as I said looked terrible other than some big plays here and there they won’t see much of in regular season. They may have the NFL’s worst D. To boot and no O line at all. Royals have some talent more than the Chumps. I like K’s take.

    • wookie jack says:

      shut up nobody cares about you. old cokehead ripoff artist

    • mike t. says:

      dunno CG… hitting is coming along nicely. 5 runs last night, clutch at-bats and all… butler and moustakas finally connecting, Gordon rolling along. not all bad here…

      • CG says:

        Yes that’s all true. I think we all worry about believing for so many reasons. Butler is the CINDERELLA MAN come to life. MAYBE? As much as I have been down on the Royals and Chiefs. It would be very nice for KC to have a post season in baseball again. Why not. The fans have more than earned it. SO LET THEM PLAY!

  8. harley says:

    was at game last night. waited to meet alex Gordon after game. An incredible
    kid with a 500 million dollar history coming.
    its was like ’85…again!
    35,000 people ready for a huge win.
    for those who are negative about this team its time to change your tune.
    I see them moving hosmer to right field in the off season with butler playing
    full time at first. That would be the ultimate huge move ormoving bulter (if he’d
    get in shape to right field.). Aoki can’t hit…plug in a 300 hitter with 30-40 home
    runs and we’re off to the races.
    This was my 25th game at the k….its getting back to normal.
    glaze….hopefully you eat crow again.
    and not aaron.

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