2020 Kansas City Royals Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
Part of the reason that Kansas City’s 2015 World Series win was so exciting and engrossing was the knowledge that it would never last.
The sheer oddity of it -- the Royals? Champions? -– and the fact that it came out of nowhere made Kansas City’s back-to-back pennants and one title one of the best stories of modern baseball history.
Now reality has set back in. And the Royals have lost more than 100 games in back-to-back seasons. The only thing saving them from losing 100+ for a third straight year will be the scaled back MLB schedule, assuming a season happens at all.
The Royals will again be one of the worst teams in the worst division in baseball. What is more disconcerting is the fact that they don’t appear to be past the first stage of any type of long-term rebuilding. Their past franchise turnaround came on the backs of several highly touted prospects. But a quick scan of the roster and in Triple-A shows that right now those prospects are in short supply.
Kansas City Royals 2020 Projected Lineup (updated expert MLB picks daily)
1. Whit Merrifield – OF
2. Adalberto Mondesi – SS
3. Jorge Soler – DH
4. Hunter Dozier – OF
5. Alex Gordon – OF
6. Salvador Perez – C
7. Ryan O’Hearn – 1B
8. Maikel Franco – 3B
9. Nicky Lopez – 2B
Quick: who has led the Majors in hits each of the past two seasons? That would be Whit Merrifield. He topped 200 hits last season and has racked up 398 hits the past two seasons while hitting .303. At age 31 he still has several prime years left at the top of the order.
Jorge Soler absolutely exploded last season. He played all 162 games after just 182 appearances in the three previous years combined. Soler erupted for 48 home runs and 117 RBI, giving the Royals a legit anchor in the cleanup slot. Hunter Dozier added 26 home runs as the team’s second-best power hitter.
Alex Gordon just turned 36 and can’t be counted on for All-Star production anymore. He had a bit of a resurgence, though, last year. He hit .266 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI. That came after three straight seasons hitting .220, .208 and .245. They don’t know what to expect from him now.
Kansas City will also get a boost from the return of Salvador Perez. He missed last year after Tommy John surgery. Perez is a clubhouse leader, a great handler of the pitching staff, and he is more than capable at the dish. Perez is a six-time All-Star and will make a major difference.
There just isn’t much depth beyond them, though. I think that Maikel Franco was a solid calculated gamble. And Adalberto Mondesi has a load of potential as the team’s top prospect. But the bench is empty, and guys like Ryan O’Hearn and Nicky Lopez haven’t shown me anything to get excited about.
Kansas City Royals 2020 Projected Rotation And Closer
1. Brad Keller (R)
2. Danny Duffy (L)
3. Jakob Junis (R)
4. Mike Montgomery (L)
5. Jorge Lopez (B)
Closer: Ian Kennedy (R)
Right here is the biggest problem on the team. Kansas City’s pitching staff is a joke. And not even a funny joke; a sad, cruel joke. Kansas City’s starter’s ERA of 5.30 was actually worse than the team’s No. 26-ranked team ERA of 5.20. And all six of the guys that started 13 or more games had an ERA of at least 4.15.
Brad Keller is the de facto No. 1 starter. He posted a 3.08 ERA in a successful rookie campaign in 2018. But he was exposed last year, seeing his earned run average balloon to 4.19 while posting a team-high in losses (14). Keller is only 24 years old. But I think that his upside is somewhat limited by his nondescript pitch repertoire.
Danny Duffy has had moments, posting sub-4.00 ERAs in 2016 and 2017. But he has gone just 15-18 with a 4.63 ERA over the past two seasons. He needs to be better than mediocre, because Mike Montgomery won’t be. Montgomery has never made more than 20 starts in a season (and likely won’t be asked to this year either).
Jorge Lopez is not an MLB-caliber pitcher. Jakob Junis isn’t yet either. Both guys are entering their age-27 season, though, and Kansas City desperately needs at least one of those guys to break out.
When Kansas City was competing for titles, it was on the strength of a dominating bullpen. That was certainly not the case last year, though, as they were No. 26 in the league with a 5.07 ERA. They were sixth worst at stranding runners and their .324 BABIP was the worst in baseball.
Kansas City Royals Odds To Win The World Series
Kansas City is 500-to-1 to win the World Series and 250-to-1 to win the American League. Despite playing in the worst division in baseball, the Royals are just 100-to-1 to win the A.L. Central.
Kansas City Royals 2020 Predictions
I am basing all of my predictions on my belief in an 81-game season that starts in early July. I have absolutely no inside information about MLB’s plans for the 2020 season. However, for the sake of discussion, 81 games are what I have in mind while writing these previews.
David Glass wisely sold the Royals for $1 billion at the end of last year. What a brilliant move for a guy that bought the team for $96 million in 2000. But now that the Royals are under new ownership, it will be interesting to see which direction the team goes. Will they be active in the free agent market and play the boom-and-bust game? Or will they stick to the developmental approach and be content to be fodder for the rest of the A.L.?
Kansas City will be better this season than they have been the last two years. And they will benefit from the shortened season because they don’t have the depth to keep up with the stronger, more talented teams in the American League. However, their absolute ceiling is .500, and that’s only if everything goes well with the pitching staff.
This is a weak roster and an organization in transition. How things play out for them over the next five years will be interesting to watch. But I have to say that I’m not overly optimistic.
Robert Ferringo is a professional sports bettor and handicapper for Doc’s Sports and is considered one of the top MLB betting experts in the country. He has posted three consecutive winning MLB seasons and closed the 2019 season on a +$10,000 baseball run for his followers. Robert has beaten the books for six of seven profitable seasons on the diamond and is looking forward to another winning season for his clients. If you would like some help winning more bets in MLB this season the good news is that you can try out Ferringo’s MLB picks for free when you set up your complimentary $60 account here.
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