The Kansas City Royals just can’t seem to get the upper hand on the Cleveland Indians. On Monday night, they started yet another season with their American League Central foes on the wrong foot, as they fell by a score of 4-3. Last season the Indians were the only division rival to compile a winning record against the Royals.
In fact, Cleveland has topped Kansas City in the season series in nine of the last 10 years. This is a trend that needs to change if the Royals want to make a serious postseason run. To be fair, the Indians just edged Kansas City in 2013, 10 games to nine, but a few more wins would have put the Royals in a much better position to make a run at a Wild-Card spot.
The Indians ended up taking one of the two American League wild card berths last season thanks to a 10-game winning streak to finish the year. Once again, the Royals should see them as one of their biggest obstacles to their first playoff appearance since 1985. Kansas City was a legitimate contender in the postseason race during the last month of 2013, which was the first time that had happened since 2003.
They have the talent to make another run at it this season, but they need to take out their playoff competition early and often. Cleveland should be seen just as much as playoff competition now, as they were down the stretch of 2013.
Five of the Royals’ nine losses this season were one-run losses. These narrow defeats against American League playoff contenders are the ones that will come back to haunt the Royals.