Welcome back Spring! Welcome back warmer weather! Most importantly, welcome back your 2015 World Series Champions, the Kansas City Royals! The typical dreary winter conditions were made far less so thanks to the warm satisfaction from last year’s World Series victory and the anticipation leading up to this season. Herein lies the dichotomy of a World Series Champion, the offseason feels extremely short and yet feels so long as you await opening day.
So, how will the Boys in Blue fare in completing their five step process? What do the “experts” have to say? Let’s take a look and do some math.
Baseball Prospectus picks them dead last in their division at 75-87. Their odds to reach the playoffs – 9.9%, reach the Division Series – 6.6%, win the World Series – .4%. Only four teams are believed to have worse odds to win the World Series – the Orioles and Reds (both .2%), the Braves (.1%), and the Phillies (0%). No love for KC, but things could be worse.
FanGraphs predicts them to tie for last in their division with the Twins at 78-84.
USA Today polled seven experts. Two of seven pick them to win the A.L. Central and two others pick them to be the Wild Card. None of them pick the Royals to go further. Still not much love for KC, but fear not.
SB Nation’s lone expert, Grant Brisbee, begrudgingly picks them to win their division.
Yeah, I’m not going to be that idiot again. Even if I’m wrong, at least I’ll have fewer Royals fans yelling at me, which would make me right… Between ESPN, FanGraphs, and Baseball Prospectus, 89 different prognosticators predicted the standings for the 2015 season. Not one had the Royals making the postseason. The pennant-winning team from the previous season didn’t even get a token Wild Card pick from someone with a raging case of recency bias.
He has the Royals falling to the Astros in the ALDS. At least his post was an amusing read.
MLB.com polled 50 experts. Their consensus is that the Royals will win their division, however, they will fall to the Jays in the ALCS.
BleacherReport predicts the Royals will win their division, but pick the Astros to win the ALCS.
CBS Sports polled five experts. All five experts pick the Royals to win their division and two of the five pick them as the A.L. Champs. Those two experts, however, have the Cubs beating them in the World Series.
Fox Sports polled seven experts (including MLB on Fox fans and Old Hoss Radbourn) and six of those seven have the Royals winning their division with the other expert giving them the Wild Card. Three of the seven pick the Royals to win the ALCS, but only one predicts a World Series victory.
ESPN polled 31 experts. 15 of 31 pick them to win their division and four others pick them to be the Wild Card. Eight pick them to win the Championship Series and four pick them to repeat as World Series Champions again. Thanks, ESPN, for your belief.
That should be plenty of resources to draw “expert” conclusions, but I will admit the numbers will be skewed due to MLB.com’s consensus prediction and MLB on Fox fans – I’m just counting them each as one prediction.
Winning the AL Central: 31 of 55 (56.3%)
Winning an AL Wild Card: 7 of 55 (12.7%)
Winning the ALDS: 15 of 55 (27.2%)
Winning the ALCS: 13 of 55 (23.6%)
Winning the 2016 World Series: 5 of 55 (9%)
Getting to the World Series is hard. Getting there in back to back seasons is harder. Dating back to 1906 it’s happened 21 times with several teams achieving that feat more than once. Getting there three years in a row? It’s happened 12 times – the A’s (3 including the Philadelphia Athletics) and the Yankees (4) combine for over half of those occurrences. In case you’re curious, getting there four consecutive years has happened four times (Yankees 3, Giants 1) and 5 consecutive years has happened twice (both Yankees).
What’s my “expert” pick? The Royals will take the Central once again 97-65 and will beat the Cubs in 7 to take the World Series again.