The Royals are 6-0, tied with Detroit among the only unbeatens left in baseball. The Royals six-game winning streak to begin the year is their best since 2003 when of course they won nine to begin the year en route to what seemed like a magical 83-win season until we actually got to experience a real life magical season last year. Its just the thirteenth six-game or more winning streak the franchise has experienced since 1997, with six of those occurring in the last three seasons.
Before we start printing playoff tickets quite yet, let's remember that six games is a fraction of a fraction of a season. We are just one week into a twenty-six week season, having completed just 3.7% of the marathon season. If this was the NFL, we'd be a few minutes into the third quarter of the season-opener. If this was college basketball, we'd have our first game under our belt. If this was a calendar year, we'd be on January 13. There's a lot of baseball left to be played.
A year ago, after one week of play, it was the Tigers with the best record in baseball at 4-1. The Royals were a piddly 2-3. The last team to finish the first week of the season undefeated were the 2011 Rangers, who were a Nelson Cruz misplay away from being World Champs. Here is a list of teams since 1969 that have begun the year with a six-game winning streak or more:
|Year||Team||Win Streak||Final Record|
While going undefeated the first week may not clinch a playoff spot for you, it almost certainly means you will have a winning record, showing once again I know nothing about baseball (contact customer service for a full refund of your subscription). Lousy teams just don't go on six-game winning streaks very often, particularly to begin the season. And going six games over .500 to begin the year, affords you a nice cushion to cruise the season with, as the 2003 Royals were able to find out.
I don't expect Salvador Perez to hit .417 with a home run every other game. I don't expect Mike Moustakas to hit .333 with this kind of opposite field power all year. I don't expect Paulo Orlando to hit a triple every time up. I don't expect our bullpen to continue to not allow a run all year (although honestly, it doesn't sound that far-fetched).
But the Royals are not just barely winning games 3-2 through weird errors, funny hops, or lucky bounces. They are dominating opponents, with a +25 run differential over six games. They have some room to regress and still be pretty darn good.
I don't think six games is meaningful in that the we can conclusively say all the Royals moves panned out and they will be back in the playoffs. But I do know that winning six games to start the year is a heckuva lot better than losing six games to start the year, and I certainly remember those days. At the very least, it looks like we are in for another very fun season in Kansas City.