Despite the disappointment from today’s defeat, the Kansas City Royals have plenty of positives to focus on and maintain a healthy level of confidence. This emotional stability is something KC will need to dominate the weak opponents they’ll face in April. Nine of the Royals’ first 18 games come against subpar competition, and beating up on those weaker teams is the key to KC riding an early hot streak deep into the regular season.
Kansas City plays six games with the Minnesota Twins in the first full month of regular season play. They also play a three-game series each with the Chicago White Sox and the woeful Houston Astros. None of these teams can be expected to do much in 2014 or pose a threat to KC in April, and none of them won more than 66 games in their prior season.
Playoff teams beat up on bad teams. They also win season series against other good teams. The remaining opponents on the schedule in April could all be competitive this season, but none of them are excellent by anyone’s standards. Teams like the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles might contend for Wild Card spots in the AL this year, but they won’t overpower the Royals in any regard.
Things won’t be so easy later in the season, so KC needs to cash in on the weakness of their early-season schedule. In June, the Royals will face off against their biggest rival in the Detroit Tigers, their potential new rival New York Yankees, the St. Louis Cardinals and both L.A. teams. Let’s hope the Royals’ lineup can heat up and the pitching staff feels comfortable before arriving at the start of that gauntlet.