MLB Opening Day Countdown Series – Kansas City Royals

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Kansas City Royals

2017 Record: (80-82) 3rd in AL Central

Off Season Transactions:

Lost Eric Hosmer to the Padres in Free Agency

Mike Moustakas has not resigned and is a current Free Agent

Lost Lorenzo Cain to the Brewers in Free Agency

Lost Jason Vargas to the Mets in Free Agency

Projected Starting Rotation:

Dan Duffy – He is a decent pitcher but definitely not an ace like he’s going to have to be on this ball club this year. He is a lefty so naturally he is better against lefties. I would only consider pitching him against high strikeout teams that are predominantly lefties. He doesn’t give up a lot of hard contact but the fly ball numbers to righties are concerning. I wouldn’t stack against Duffy but I could see playing a bat or two against him in the right matchup.

Ian Kennedy – Not going to be someone we pitch ever but we will be taking bats against him. He gives up more damage to the left-handed hitters but right-handed hitters are still very much in play. He gave up 2.24 HR/9 to left-handed hitters and 1.76 HR/9 to right handed hitters. Not a huge strikeout guy and the hard contact given up is really bad. To top it all off he is a fly ball pitcher. Definitely will be stacking against Kennedy.

Jason Hammel – He isn’t bad but he isn’t good. He isn’t going to strikeout many guys so the upside for pitching purposes isn’t really there. We can consider bats against him as well.

Nate Karns – He has season ending surgery last year but it was on his ribs so the arm should be great. He is going to be someone we can consider as he had a strikeout percentage of 27% last year before he got hurt. He flashed 10+ strikeout games which would give up massive upside. Last year was interesting as well because the numbers show that the damage he gave up to right handed hitters were not expected and that there should be massive regression in that department. I’m going to have to watch him in spring training but we should keep an eye on him.

Jake Junis – He was called up to pitch last year for the Royals and didn’t do much to impress me. He was fine but nothing to make me want to roster him. He doesn’t have great strikeout stuff which decreases his ceiling. As for taking bats against him, that is in play for sure. It’s interesting to note that right handed hitters hit better off him than left handed hitters. He was able to induce way more ground balls from left handed hitters than right handed hitters and in turn limited the hard contact given up the lefties as well. When we’re taking bats against him I will want it to be righties.

Bullpen:

Middle of the road bullpen who has nothing to be impressed about.

Starting Lineup:

Alcides Escobar – Although I don’t think he really belongs at the leadoff spot I am not sure who else is going to hit here for the Royals who have lost a lot to Free Agency. Escobar isn’t a great option when it comes to DFS. He is mostly a defensive stud who will have a good game here or there with the stick.

Whit Merrifield (2B) – Love Whit Merrifield. He has games where he just explodes for 40 and I actually was able to pick out some of those games and I think I have something on him… but you’ll have to pay for the premium stuff the get that. He brings upside to a 2nd base position that is weak.

Salvador Perez (C) – He is a good option for catching although he can be expensive at some points in the year. He has the ability to hit for power and drive in runs. He is going to be in consideration for a catching option almost daily.

Jorge Bonifacio (OF) – He is an okay option as well and now that he is hitting in the middle of the order he should get a little boost. However, he is still nothing special. Hit better last year vs righties but advanced stats favor him vs left handed pitching slightly.

Jorge Soler (OF) – Didn’t produce last year in the bigs but in the minors, he rips the cover off the ball almost posting an ISO of over .300. He hit 24 home runs in 74 games last year in the minors, so the power is there it’s just a matter of if it can translate over to the big league level. We will want to see how he does during spring training because if he can translate his skills to the MLB level he will be a DFS option.

Alex Gordon (OF) – He hasn’t been the same since 2014 and was brutal last year. He has hit .220 or lower the past two years to go along with the RBI’s and home runs. Naturally the stolen bases go away as well when you are not getting on base. Hit for no power last year. It is going to be tough to roster him.

Hunter Dozier (1B) – With all the losses to this team Dozier is going to get a shot to play here consistently at the MLB level. In the minors he has showed that he has power and the ability to drive in runs. I like what I see from him there so let’s keep an eye on him in spring training and look to see how he can translate in the MLB.

Cheslor Cuthbert (3B) – Huge hit for KC here at 3rd base filling in for Moose. Not going to be a guy who we want to roster as he doesn’t have any upside. There isn’t much power or run production ability here.

Paulo Orlando (OF) – Hit .200 last year in the MLB with 90 plate appearances. However, in the past he has shown he can hit for average and has stolen bases in his minor league career. The only reason I’m writing this much is because he was stone min price last year and could allow you to fit in the studs you want if you have to.

Playing Field:

Kauffman Stadium

Ball Park Factor- 20th

Definitely a pitcher’s ball park, but is very deep to all fields so has the ability for increases triple production.

“Must Knows” of the Kansas City Royals going into 2018 MLB DFS:

With the loss of Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain the Royals are losing 518 hits, 82 doubles, 78 Home Runs, 228 RBI. They are losing their 2017 leaders in every hitting category such as Batting Average, Home Runs, RBI, OBP %, and Hits. The Royals 2018 lineup has massive holes to replace.