The Kansas City Royals were a part of the American League Central race for the majority of the season, but overcoming their 10.5 game deficit to the Detroit Tigers with 32 games remaining certainly won’t be easy.
A more reasonable goal for the Royals at this point might be to try to earn one of the wild card spots where they sit seven games behind the second wild card position currently held by the Oakland Athletics.
The bad news for the Royals is that they aren’t going to get many chances to take games from teams ahead of them in the wild card race. The Cleveland Indians are the only team on the Royals remaining schedule who sit ahead of them in the wild card standings. The division foes still have six games against one another which could shake up the wild card standings should the Royals be able to win both series.
The good news for the Royals is that they have a pretty easy schedule over the final month of the season. The Royals play 17 games against teams under .500 including their final series of the season against the Minnesota Twins over the next three days. They also have seven games remaining against the Seattle Mariners (59-71) and seven games against teams in last place in their division (Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.)
The Royals can’t continue to putter along if they hope to earn one of the wild card spots. They’ve lost 10 of their last 14 games and are less than a month removed from a point in time when they were just a handful of games behind the Tigers.
Three teams stand in their way, and the chances are at least one of them is going to hit their stride over the next few weeks. The Royals had high expectations heading into the season, but if they aren’t able to get it together soon they’ll have to consider this season a disappointment.