The Royals season has clearly not gotten off to the start the teams, or the fans, would have wanted. Over the past six games in particular, the team has really looked rough, but those six games were against two of the best teams in baseball. For the rest of this month the schedule is lined up pretty favorably though, so it is time for the team to show if they can take care of business against the bad teams, or if this futility continues despite the opponent.
Here are the series for the rest of May:
@Orioles for 3
@Rangers for 3
@Rockies for 3
White Sox for 5
Twins for 3
@Diamondbacks for 2
@Twins for 3
@Guardians for 3 (3rd game is June 1st)
The Orioles are projected by Fangraphs as the worst team in baseball. Their projected standings have them going 55 and 82 the rest of the way, so they will flirt with 100 losses most likely. So far, the Orioles are a game ahead of the Royals and have had the hardest strength of schedule (Royals are 9th toughest) according to powerrankingsguru.com. They are -23 in run differential, also better than the Royals -39. They have to this point been a little better than the Royals, but the Royals are projected to be better, and now is the time to show it.
Moving on to the Rangers, they are projected to basically be the Royals. Both teams are projected at 72 wins right now per Fangraphs. Again, the Royals will get a shot at a below average team.
Then come the Rockies, who to this point have way overperformed expectation going 14 and 10, though with a -11 run differential. Part of that is their 25th hardest schedule so far. It also looks like they are trending downward, getting swept in a 4 game series by the Phillies. Granted then the Rockies got a sweep, but I don't think the Reds count. The rest of the way projection has them going 60 and 78, slightly worse than the Royals.
We know the White Sox and Twins are not slouches. Byron Buxton is being Byron Buxton, and given the Twins a lot of life since his return, but he has the Adalberto Mondesi tendency and could be hurt again at any time. All of the White Sox are hurt: Garret Crochet, Joe Kelly, Lance Lynn, Jonathan Stiever, Yermin Mercedes, Yoan Moncada, and Eloy Jimenez are all out. That has lead to them being 2 games under five hundred, and a -18 run differential. This is not the same White Sox team as last year currently, though they are still projected to be six over the rest of the way.
The Royals then travel to Arizona, who are currently 13 and 13, but are projected at 60 and 76 the rest of the way. They have played a tough schedule so far, ranking second in the majors, so maybe they are better than everyone expected going into the season, but they do have a -16 run differential, so more likely they have had a bit of luck run their way so far. Maybe teams get to Arizona and are confused by the good weather that seems to be nowhere else in the nation.
Finally, a set against the Guardians, who are fine, but nothing special. So far they are 2 games under five hundred, and projected to be a 77 win team. That makes them marginally better on paper, but definitely not a scary team right now.
There you have it, the Royals have 25 games against (mostly) sub-par competition over the next 4ish weeks. It is time for them to have a stretch of winning. If they can't find 13 wins, at the very least, here, then I think it is time to write them off completely. It should be all young guys all the time if that doesn't happen, though that has not been the Dayton way, so I won't hold my breath.