For Pete's Sake

A look at 149 preseason baseball picks finds no one thinks Royals will be in World Series this year

Jarrod Dyson (left), Lorenzo Cain and the rest of the Royals won’t be in the World Series this fall if the pundits are correct.
Jarrod Dyson (left), Lorenzo Cain and the rest of the Royals won’t be in the World Series this fall if the pundits are correct. The Kansas City Star

OK, Royals fans, cue your inner Rodney Dangerfield.

Despite an electric run to last year’s World Series, it seems most people believe the Royals were a flash in the pan.

I scoured the Interweb for 2015 baseball predictions, just to see what people thought of the Royals’ chances this season.

The results were ugly.

In ESPN’s predictions, it asked 88 people for their predictions. Just three picked them to win the division. ESPN unveiled the forecasts from 15 experts and only Jerry Crasnick and Alex Cora had the Royals as AL Central champs. Pedro Gomez and Jim Bowden pegged them as wild-card teams. None picked the Royals to repeat as AL champions. Since I didn’t see all 88 picks, I’m limiting this report to 15 people whose picks were made public.

SCORECARD: 15 predictions. AL Pennant: 0. Division champs: 2. Wild card: 2

Of the six people at Sports Illustrated to make picks, none could see the Royals in the playoffs.

SCORECARD: 21 predictions. AL Pennant: 0. Division champs: 2. Wild card: 2

Yahoo Sports had its five beat writers make picks and they all forecast a fourth-place finish for the Royals. Only Jeff Passan thought a winning record was in Kansas City’s future.

SCORECARD: 26 predictions. AL Pennant: 0. Division champs: 2. Wild card: 2

The 45 people at Baseball Prospectus to make predictions all agreed: the Royals won’t win the division. Or get in the playoffs.*

*Where have you gone Bradford Doolittle, our city turns its lonely eyes to you

SCORECARD: 71 predictions. AL Pennant: 0. Division champs: 2. Wild card: 2

At CBSSports.com, there were picks from beat writers and fantasy writers. All told, that’s eight writers. Of that group, just two people (Jon Heyman and Heath Cummings) predicted the Royals would win the Central. David Brown forecast a wild-card berth. However ... no one had the Royals in the World Series.

SCORECARD: 79 predictions. AL Pennant: 0. Division champs: 4. Wild card: 3

Hardball Talk at NBC Sports asked six of its reporters to make preseason picks and none saw the Royals in the playoffs this fall.

SCORECARD: 85 predictions. AL Pennant: 0. Division champs: 4. Wild card: 3

USA Today polled seven reporters and editors and none had the Royals in the World Series. Its power rankings had the Royals finishing fourth in the AL Central.

SCORECARD: 92 predictions. AL Pennant: 0. Division champs: 4. Wild card: 3

Bleacher Report didn’t think the Royals would make the postseason.

SCORECARD: 93 predictions. AL Pennant: 0. Division champs: 4. Wild card: 3

At this point, I’m looking everywhere for someone to get the Royals back to the World Series. That took me to the Boston Globe picks. Of the six experts, Chad Finn had the Royals winning the Central! But no one had them in the World Series.

SCORECARD: 99 predictions. AL Pennant: 0. Division champs: 5. Wild card: 3

The Sporting News picked the Cubs to win the World Series but had the Royals finishing fourth.

SCORECARD: 100 predictions. AL Pennant: 0. Division champs: 5. Wild card: 3

The search for someone, anyone, who had the Royals in the World Series continued with the Washington Times. Five staff members made predictions and just one had the Royals in the playoffs — as Central champs.

SCORECARD: 105 predictions. AL Pennant: 0. Division champs: 6. Wild card: 3

Let’s try the other coast. The Royals got a surprisingly large amount of support from the Los Angeles Daily News’ staff preseason picks. Four of the six had them in the playoffs (three as wild card, one as division champs). But no one could see the Royals in the World Series again.

SCORECARD: 111 predictions. AL Pennant: 0. Division champs: 7. Wild card: 6

UPDATE: I forgot about FanGraphs! They had 38 people offer predictions. And surely someone has faith in the ... ugh. Nope, none of the 38 people had the Royals in the playoffs.

SCORECARD: 149 predictions. AL Pennant: 0. Division champs: 7. Wild card: 6

That’s it. I tried. But of the 149 predictions I sifted through, nary a one had the Royals back in the Fall Classic. Just 13 people thought Kansas City fans would see playoff baseball again, which after consulting with my calculator is less than 10 percent.

Just remember: I’m the messenger, so please don’t shoot (me any nasty e-mails).

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @pgrathoff.

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