The Kansas City Royals are only 24 games into their 162 game season, but one thing has already been made clear about the team: the offense is the weak link. When the Royals produce more than four runs, they are 12-0 this season. When the offense fails to score four runs, the team is 0-12.
Common logic says that the Royals will not remain undefeated or winless based on the four-run mark, but there is reason to believe it will hold true all year. In 2013, they were 64-13 when they scored more than four runs. The club is not much different than last season; it’s still built on pitching and defense. The problem with the team is that they only scored four or more runs 77 times last season. To put that in prospective, the World Series champion Boston Red Sox scored that many runs 101 times in the 2013 regular season.
The Red Sox and Royals are two teams built very differently, but Kansas City must get nearer to Boston’s 101 to make noise in the post season. The offense for the Royals is on pace score four runs more often than they did last season, but only by four games. If Kansas City would have won four more games in 2013, they still would not have made the playoffs.
So far this season, the Royals rank second-to-last in runs per game in the American League. Some of the team’s best players are mired in deep slumps, though. Billy Butler, Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas all have batting averages that would be career lows if the season ended today. It’s unlikely that three players will suddenly take a turn for the worst while being under the age of 28. The season is young, and the offense should become more productive as it wears on.
The positive side of the four runs stat for the Royals is the great pitching. Ned Yost’s club bolstered the best ERA in the American League last season. The team has continued pitching well, stifling opposing hitters. The bullpen has found their footing after early struggles in 2014. After a great 2013 season, there is no reason to think that this season will not be more of the same.
The burden of winning is placed solely on the shoulders of the Royals offense. The pitching staff has proven itself, and the hitters know how much they need to produce – now they just need to go out and do it. If the Royals are successful this season, it will be because the young offense figured out how to put runs on the board.