The Kansas City Royals are currently 13-12 and in the middle of the pack of AL teams hoping for a playoff berth. If the Royals could just hit better on the road, or pitch better at home, or both, they could play meaningful October baseball this season.
KC played 15 of their 24 games prior to this series’ start on the road, and they lost their first five. Since then, the Royals have gone 6-4 and won two of their last three series on the road. The numbers posted so far seem to indicate that KC still experiences a lack of offensive confidence in away games. Moreover, these numbers show that the Royals could be an impressive force if all facets of the team could get hot at the same time.
The Royals are hitting .243 as a team in away games, but that average grows to .294 at Kauffman Stadium. This difference is drastic – KC’s home average is 3rd in the MLB, and their road average is 17th. Despite mediocre power numbers, the Royals’ slugging percentage still increases by .050 points when at home, which ranks five places higher than their slugging percentage on the road. These are still small sample sizes, but it only seems sensible that KC hits well at their home ballpark. Kauffman is huge, and GM Dayton Moore has done his part to fill the lineup with as many doubles hitters as possible in order to take advantage of his home field’s huge outfield alleys.
If the Royals pitching staff could match the offense’s capabilities at Kauffman, KC would be almost unbeatable on their home turf. As it stands, the pitching is doing enough to keep games close at home, but they’re downright dominant as the visiting team. KC’s 3.7 team ERA at home is 15th league-wide, but their road ERA of 2.95 is 5th in the league and the second best in the AL. If the Royals could get all parts of their team going at one time, or even at one location, they could already be winning the ultra-competitive AL Central.