The Kansas City Royals had a remarkably positive offseason before reaching Spring Training this week. After getting better in almost every facet of the game, the Royals are starting to match up pretty well against even the MLB‘s stiffest competition. We’re talking about projections by the way, not the two games’ worth of play in Surprise, Arizona so far. Even I won’t let that *small sample of crazy-powerful offense go to my head that much.
Not many will fight you on the idea that KC should beat out divisional bottom-dwellers like the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox this year. That leaves two very talented and probably-relevant teams for fans to cheer against and loathe. They say it’s not a rivalry unless both teams play each other competitively and win. With that in mind, who do you think will be KC’s biggest divisional rival in 2014?
The Cleveland Indians are easy to hate because they’re so similar to the Royals. With a similarly young and talented roster, Cleveland continues to pose a threat in the AL Central. Sadly for them, the Indians are still a year or more away from any chance of surging past their divisional competition. Old beefs spawned by former Cleveland closer and current doofus Chris Perez strengthened the discontent in previous years, but the lack of his presence gives the slight edge for biggest rival to another team.
The Detroit Tigers will continue to be a thorn in KC’s side this year. I’m already hoping for a Wild Card berth at best because of these guys. Detroit’s shut-down starting five and intimidating lineup make them the odds-on favorite to win their division and keep KC waiting for their time to come. Again. It’s hard to hate a guy like Miguel Cabrera, but by just being damn good, the Tigers will continue to serve as the Royals’ arch nemesis for the foreseeable future.
The rivalry could get heated and intense this year with the Royals projected to improve, but it’s still got nothing on the possible hate-feud KC could have with the New York Yankees this year.