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Projection systems have Royals as one of the worst teams in baseball

Are you taking the over or under?

TWO ANONYMOUS MEN Photo by Photo Media/ClassicStock/Getty Images

With the off-season largely done, the prognosticators are coming out with their projections for the 2023 season. Dan Szymborski at Fangraphs released his early projected standings for ZIPS and has the Royals projected for 70 wins, the worst in the American League. That would still only put them 13 games behind first-place Cleveland, and just one game back of fourth-place Detroit. The Twins project for 80 wins with Chicago projected for a disappointing 74. No team in the AL is projected for better than 90 wins, which shows a bit how the projected standings flatten out at the upper and lower ends.

On the Royals, Szymborski writes:

The Royals have basically fire sale’d — a minimal one given the team’s talent level — coming off the 2023 season. There are interesting players such as Vinnie Pasquantino to watch on offense, but I’m still not sure if the Royals really have a solid plan beyond hoping some of these young hitters work out very well and everything else just takes care of itself.

You can also see the National League standings here where the Braves and Mets project to be the top teams with 94 wins each, while the Nationals, Rockies, and Pirates all project to be worse than the Royals.

The old school projection system is PECOTA, developed by Baseball Prospectus. They released their projected standings today and the Royals fare even worse, with an average of 62.8 wins in their simulations, tied with Oakland for the worst in the league, with only the Washington Nationals projected to do worse in baseball. The Royals make the playoffs in 0.2 percent of the simulations!

The Royals have wildly outperformed PECOTA projections in the past, but in the last few years the projections have been pretty accurate.

PECOTA projected Royals win totals

Year PECOTA win projection Actual win count Difference
Year PECOTA win projection Actual win count Difference
2010 66 67 1
2011 66 71 5
2012 70 72 2
2013 76 86 10
2014 79 89 10
2015 72 95 23
2016 76 81 5
2017 71 80 9
2018 66 58 -8
2019 71 59 -12
2020 68 70* 2
2021 71 74 3
2022 69 65 -4

It is not surprising the projections are low for a team relying mostly on young players with few off-season additions. There should be a lot of expected variance for a team with so much inexperience, as some players will break out and others won’t be up to Major League standards.

But it is easy to see why J.J. Picollo has an eye to the future. The roster right now does not appear good enough. And the Royals will have to use this season to figure out what pieces will be part of the next Royals contender.

What do you project for a Royals win total this year?


How many games will the Royals win?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    (22 votes)
  • 7%
    (71 votes)
  • 23%
    (223 votes)
  • 38%
    (366 votes)
  • 28%
    Less than 70
    (269 votes)
951 votes total Vote Now