2016 MLB Season Preview: Kansas City Royals

Ian-Kennedy-kansas-city-royals-2016-mlb-season-preview-americas-white-boyIt has been a long time since the Kansas City Royals won a World Series. George Brett was playing third base and Ronald Reagan was President. 30 years later, the Royals did it again. I’m happy for the city and the organization.

Kansas City spent the offseason trying to keep their own on the team. They signed a few new arms, but their biggest splash was when they re-signed Alex Gordon. Most thought his price-point would have been out of the Royals price-range at the beginning of the offseason.

The Royals have been winning games with defense, smart base-running and a solid bullpen. All of the same pieces are still in place, so could we see a third-straight World Series for the Royals?

Here is the 2016 MLB season preview for the Kansas City Royals.

2015 Win/Loss Record: 95-67

Key Additions: SP Ian Kennedy, SP Mike Minor, RP Joakim Soria, SS Clint Barmes, RP Brian Duensing, SP Dillon Gee, SP John Lannan, RP Peter Moylan, SP Ross Ohlendorf & OF Travis Snider

Key Losses: SP Johnny Cueto, RP Greg Holland, 2B Ben Zobrist, OF Alex Rios, RP Ryan Madson, RP Franlin Morales, OF Jonny Gomes & SP Jeremy Guthrie

Interleague Schedule: NL East

Projected Starters: Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer, Omar Infante, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Paulo Orlando & Kendrys Morales

Projected Starting Rotation: Edinson Volquez, Yordano Ventura, Ian Kennedy, Danny Duffy & Chris Young

Closer: Wade Davis

Fantasy SleeperSP Ian Kennedy – Kennedy hasn’t pitched well on paper over the last couple years. He still got $70 million on a five-year deal from Kansas City this offseason. He can still strike batters out and if he can keep the ball in the park, he will do just fine. Kansas City’s defense is better than the last few teams he’s been with, so he should be a nice resource for strikeouts without killing your ERA too much.

Prospect To Keep Your Eye OnSP Kyle Zimmer  – After injuries derailed the last few years of his career, Zimmer posted really good numbers in Double-A. If he can prove that his shoulder can handle a full workload, he might have a shot at keeping his role as a starter…if not, he could join the Royals bullpen by the end of the year.

Team Analysis: After losing the 2014 World Series in nail-biting fashion, he Royals went on to win the World Series last season. It has proven to be very difficult to appear in back-to-back World Series lately, so that feat was almost as great at winning just one World Series.

The Royals lineup is about the exact same as it was going into last season. They lost some rentals like Ben Zobrist and Johnny Cueto, but all the cornerstones are still on the team. Kansas City hopes to keep appearing in the postseason and I see no reason why they shouldn’t do it again this year.

I would like to see them get another starter at some point, but maybe someone will step up like Chris Young did last year and pitch well out of the blue. Their bullpen is still one of the best, even with Greg Holland due to miss the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Royals are the team to beat in the Central and for the rest of the American League.

2016 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 85 (Prediction: OVER)

2016 Projected Win/Loss Record: 87-75 (1st AL Central)

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sweetbob-author-picAbout the Author…

Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot ClicksGuyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.

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