Baseball is back! Each day, SportsIntel’s Matt DeSaro will take a look at two of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball as we head toward MLB Opening Day in late July and we continue today in the AL Central with the Kansas City Royals.

The owners and players agreed in late June to stage a 60-game season, beginning July 24. There are still many hurdles to overcome in this COVID-19 landscape, but for now, the teams are gathering for “Summer Camp,” a Spring Training reboot crammed into three weeks.

MLB Opening Day – Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals | O/U 25.0 Wins | +50000 to win World Series

Yet again, the Royals are looking to bounce back after a disappointing season.  Kansas City won just 59 games and was outscored by 178 runs, fourth-worst mark in the majors.  They also ranked fourth-worst in offense and pitching by ERA.

The Royals do have a few bats who can do some damage at the plate but their pitching staff will ultimately let them down.

The COVID-19 outbreak has done them no favors and even robbed KC of a few key players.  Salvador Perez, Ryan O’Hern, and Brad Keller were among the rostered players to test positive so far.  Perez will likely be suiting up for opening day but O’Hern and Keller’s statuses are still up in the air as of now.

One would think the Royals would have tried to move mountains this offseason before opening day to better their predicament.  That, however, did not happen.  Not only was this one of the worst teams in baseball last year but they had one of the worst offseasons as well.

Offseason Acquisitions:

3B Maikel Franco, OF Franchy Cordero

Offseason Losses:

RP Tim Hill

What Do The Royals Do Well?

Sadly for any Royals fans, their team did nothing well last year and 2020 appears to be more of the same.

Unless you count losing.

How about steals?  Does that count?

They did rank second in the majors in swiped bags with 117, second only to the Rangers who also are forced to deal with a flaccid offense.

The best-case scenario is that Franco lives up to the hype he had as a prospect, Cordero does his part to contribute and a few other guys have career years.

I fully expect this team to suffer through another year of rough games, lucky for them there will only be 60 of them.

Where Can They Improve?

There is not an area of this Royals team that does not need significant improvement ahead of the opening day of the 2020 season.

The worst part of this team, however, has to be their pitching staff.

Just take a gander below at their expected rotation if you need clarification as to why I feel this way.

When Danny Duffy is the best arm you have to offer, it’s hard to expect things to go well.

Their best bet is that prospect Chance Adams can develop into the ace Kansas City was hoping for when they drafted him.  A former top-100 prospect, Adams could shine but even a Cy Young year from the kid won’t save the Royals or their losing record.

This pitching staff combined for a 5.30 ERA last year and in this shortened season, things might even be worse after 60 games for KC.

Opening Day Royals Season Prediction

One thing that I can say with certainty about this team is they won’t lose 100 games again.  The 60 game season will help that along with of course and their season win total currently sits at just 25.

They barely managed to win 50 games in a full season so this number makes little sense to me.

With their lack of pitching talent, mediocre bats and thin depth, I think the Royals could easily be the worst team in the league in 2020 and don’t see 25 wins when all is said and done, so definitely the under in the baseball over under markets.

Projected Starters:

C – Salvador Perez

1B – Ryan O’Hearn

2B – Nicky Lopez

3B – Maikel Franco

SS – Adalberto Mondesi

LF – Alex Gordon

CF – Whit Merrifield

RF – Hunter Dozier

DH – Jorge Soler

Projected Rotation:

Danny Duffy

Brad Keller

Mike Montgomery

Jakob Junus

Brady Singer

Closer:

Ian Kennedy