For Pete's Sake

Royals’ postseason hopes look dim, according to these 225 experts around the nation

Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon.
Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon. jsleezer@kcstar.com

This won’t be a fun season for Royals fans, if you believe the experts.

A search of preseason predictions for Major League Baseball turned up some sour results for the Royals. Of the 163 predictions I found out there, you can count on one hand the number of people who think the Royals are going to be be playing in the postseason.

Here is the breakdown:

At FanGraphs, 53 people made picks for the season and all but four teams in the American League were predicted to make the playoffs. The Royals were one of that quartet (three people saw the Angels in the playoffs).

SCORECARD: 53 predictions. Royals as division champs: 0. Royals as a wild card: 0.

The Royals got on the board at ESPN, as three of the 35 people making preseason picks had them as a wild card. The Indians were the consensus favorite as division champs.

SCORECARD: 88 predictions. Royals as division champs: 0. Royals as a wild card: 3.

USA Today had seven people make picks for the 2017 season and not one saw the Royals in the playoffs. Six of the seven picked the Indians to win the division. The one holdout — Stephen Borelli — chose the Tigers as the team to beat in the Central.

SCORECARD: 95 predictions. Royals as division champs: 0. Royals as a wild card: 3.

There were 22 people who forecast the future for MLB Radio, and none could foresee the Royals in the postseason. Just one of them picked a team other than the Indians to win the Central (again, the Tigers).

SCORECARD: 117 predictions. Royals as division champs: 0. Royals as a wild card: 3.

The six people at Yahoo Sports all picked the Indians as the only team to make the playoffs from the Central. Just one even had the Royals finishing with a winning record (Liz Roscher). The Indians swept the predictions again for the division title.

SCORECARD: 123 predictions. Royals as division champs: 0. Royals as a wild card: 3.

At CBS Sports, there was a bit of love for the Royals. Mike Axisa was the only one of the six who picked the Royals to make the playoffs, but it was a wild card. However, he had the Royals losing at home to the Mariners in the Wild Card Game.

SCORECARD: 129 predictions. Royals as division champs: 0. Royals as a wild card: 4.

None of the seven writers at Sports Illustrated had the Royals in the postseason, and they all thought the Indians were the team to beat in the Central.

SCORECARD: 136 predictions. Royals as division champs: 0. Royals as a wild card: 4.

The Big Lead had four people make their picks for 2017, and it was a clean sweep for the Indians and the Royals were shut out of the postseason again.

SCORECARD: 140 predictions. Royals as division champs: 0. Royals as a wild card: 4.

The Royals went 0 for 4 at The Comeback, as none of the people making picks had them ending up in the playoffs. And Joe Lucia has predicted doom for the Royals: “they’re in the AL Wild Card race come the All-Star Break. That proves to be a mistake, as the team finishes under .500 and they get nothing for their impending free agents.”

SCORECARD: 144 predictions. Royals as division champs: 0. Royals as a wild card: 4.

I’m digging here, but the Daily Herald outside of Chicago had four people make picks and one had the Royals winning the Wild Card Game! That prediction had the Royals losing in the division series to the Red Sox, but still ... this was the high-water mark.

SCORECARD: 148 predictions. Royals as division champs: 0. Royals as a wild card: 5.

The Boston Globe asked six reporters and columnists for their 2017 predictions and not one saw the Royals making the playoffs.

SCORECARD: 154 predictions. Royals as division champs: 0. Royals as a wild card: 5.

The Chicago Tribune’s five reporters/columnists didn’t like the Royals’ chances either. None had them in the postseason in 2017. All five picked Cleveland to win the division.

SCORECARD: 159 predictions. Royals as division champs: 0. Royals as a wild card: 5.

Quick hitters: SB Nation picked the Royals to take third in the Central and out of the playoffs. FiveThirtyEight.com sees the Royals ending up 74-88. Two Detroit Free-Press writers picked the Royals to miss the playoffs.

SCORECARD: 163 predictions. Royals as division champs: 0. Royals as a wild card: 5.

UPDATE: Baseball Prospectus released its 62 writers picks on Monday morning, and someone did have faith in the Royals to win the division! Matt Sussman thinks the Royals will be the team to be in the Central, while seven others picked the Royals as a wild card. Say what you will about the computer predictions as Baseball Prospectus, the writers have a bit more faith.

SCOREBOARD: 225 predictions. Royals as division champs: 1. Royals as a wild card: 12.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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