OK, Royals fans, you know the drill.
A year ago, the Royals were coming off a World Series run, but FanGraphs projected they would win a whopping 79 games in 2015. None of the 38 people making picks at FanGraphs expected the Royals to make the playoffs a year ago.
The Royals did just a bit better than that, winning an American League-best 95 games, and then bringing home that nice World Series trophy. You may have seen it at the parade.
Do you expect things to be different this year from the number crunchers? Nope.
The Royals are projected to win 79 games by FanGraphs, which would put them tied for third in the American League Central with the Detroit Tigers. Only the Twins are expected to fare worse (78 wins).
The Cleveland Indians (85-77) and Chicago White Sox (81-81) are projected to be ahead of the Royals.
Why the regression for the Royals? Well, FanGraphs sees the Royals dropping from 4.47 runs per game last season to a projected 4.29 in 2016. Meanwhile, their runs allowed is expected to rise from 3.96 per game to 4.42 in 2016.
Be heartened. Harry Pavlidis, the Director of Technology for Baseball Prospectus, acknowledged that it was off the mark a year ago when it picked the Royals to win 72 games.
Royals fans don’t care about preseason projections, they only care about postseason victories, which has resulted in two AL pennants and a World Series championship in the last two years.
UPDATE: The folks at Baseball Prospectus said the 2016 standings on their page were actually 2015 predictions. It hasn’t released its projected standings yet.