Kansas City Royals May 2024

How Seriously Should the Royals Be Taken in 2024?

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As one of the early surprises in baseball this season, everyone is a little curious about the Kansas City Royals playoff chances in 2024. Is this a team that should be taken seriously after losing 106 games last year? Keep in mind the Royals haven’t even made the playoffs since they won the World Series in 2015.

Are the Royals for Real in 2024?

Is the Royals roster one that can make the playoffs or is this a young team that’s destined to fade down the stretch? Some other teams in the typically underwhelming AL Central have also had strong starts to the season. If nothing else, it’s worth taking a closer look at the Kansas City Royals’ playoff chances in 2024.

Let’s take a deep dive into whether this team is for real or not.

Stellar Rotation

Even if lasting success no longer ends with starting pitching, it still begins with it. Based on the first 45 games of the season, the Royals rotation certainly appears to have staying power. Kansas City’s rotation is among the top five in ERA and the top 10 in both WHIP and batting average against. The Royals are also tied for fourth in wins from their starting rotation, not to mention third in innings pitched, meaning their starters are going deep into games.

Young starters like Brady Singer and Alec Marsh have both taken a step forward after strong 2023 campaigns. Cole Ragans has also flashed the potential to be a consistent frontline starter. Equally important, Kansas City’s offseason addition of Seth Lugo has turned into a stroke of genius, as he’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball. Michael Wacha has also added quality depth in the back end of the rotation. The only lingering question is whether the Royals can survive a lengthy absence by one of those five starters.


Veteran Leader

Veteran leadership isn’t always something that’s found on rebuilding teams, but it’s something the Royals have that will help them maintain their early success. They are getting that leadership from Salvador Perez, an eight-time all-star and former World Series MVP. As an established player and the team’s primary catcher, Perez holds great influence in the clubhouse, which is exactly what the Royals need right now.

The kicker is that Perez has also produced with the bat. He looks like a lock to be an all-star and could potentially be in the MVP discussion. Granted, the Royals have other veterans on the roster, including Lugo, Wacha, Will Smith, and Adam Frazier. However, Perez is the primary leader, which puts the Royals in great hands.

MVP Candidate

In addition to Perez, Bobby Witt Jr. gives the Royals another legitimate MVP candidate. It’s far too soon to label Witt as one of the greatest shortstops in MLB history. But he’s certainly putting himself on that path. If nothing else, Witt is proving to be one of the most dynamic players in the big leagues right now.

Witt has already racked up 21 extra-base hits in 45 games and is among the league leaders in both triples and stolen bases. He has a chance to hit .300 while also being among the top 10 in extra-base hits, which is no easy feat. Of course, Witt and Perez are going to need help from the rest of the Kansas City lineup. But Witt is undoubtedly the type of spark plug and catalyst who can give the Royals a chance to win every game they play and keep them in the playoff hunt all season.

Best is Yet to Come

Even if some believe the Royals are destined to fade after a fast start, there is also evidence that the best is yet to come. For starters, Kansas City’s expected record is two games better than their actual record. They are also in a group among the Orioles, Yankees, and Guardians for the four best run differentials in the American League. Those four clubs are head and shoulders above the rest of the league, which is a sign that they are the AL’s four best teams.


With such a young roster, don’t discount the possibility that players like Witt, Singer, Marsh, and Ragans will continue to develop and get better throughout the season. Plus, the longer they stay in contention, the more likely the Royals are to make aggressive trades to improve their roster in the short run. Even in a crowded AL Central, there is every chance the Royals are in it for the long haul and will be a playoff contender in September.

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