It’s almost the end of April and the Kansas City Royals are atop the American League Central. Weird things happen early in the season. Not many tabbed the Royals as division contenders, though, and there’s clearly reason for a bit of excitement. A look at the Kansas City Royals schedule 2021 shows how important the next few weeks are.
The Royals are around league-average in ERA. The same goes for run differential. Little suggests they are postseason candidates right now.
Kansas City Royals schedule 2021: Key games coming
The flip side, however, is that they are two up on the White Sox. They are seven clear of the Minnesota Twins already. Minnesota was comfortably in the top two in the division in preseason projections. That lead isn’t going to just disappear.
The Royals play Pittsburgh on Wednesday April 28th. Their next 17 games are against teams in the division – the Kansas City Royals schedule 2021 is as follows:
- 3 @ Minnesota
- 4 vs Cleveland
- 3 vs White Sox
- 3 @ Detroit
- 4 @ White Sox
This series with the Twins already looks huge. Take two of three, let alone a sweep, and the Royals have extended their advantage over the team who won the AL Central in each of the last two seasons.
Cleveland is hanging around. They are middle of the pack in run differential like the Royals, but their pitching remains solid. The two could yet end up neck and neck in the division.
The White Sox are the toughest matchup, and having three games against them is daunting. How the pitching matchups shake out is obviously important, but anything is possible across a three-game and then four-game series.
Detroit, of course, are still bad. Kansas City staged a four-game sweep of the Tigers over the weekend. Avoid a slip up there, and they can compensate for the games they drop against the White Sox.
Realistic Royals prediction for 2021
Lots of teams have been great in April and faded. It would still be a surprise to see the Royals win the division, but the coming weeks represent a real opportunity. Keep this run up much longer, and the gap between them and the Twins will be impossible to ignore.
The AL Central doesn’t have an unstoppable juggernaut. It is, for all the excitement with Chicago and power of the Twins, a relatively open division.
However open the division is, it’s worth noting that Danny Duffy isn’t going to pitch like Bob Gibson all year. By that same logic, though, Hunter Dozier, Andrew Benintendi, Jorge Soler and Brad Keller are going to be more productive than they have been so far.
Speculating about a shock World Series run would be foolish, but the next few series will give us a real indicator of how competitive these Royals are in 2021. The schedule has given them an opportunity – will they take it?