On Monday night, the Kansas City Royals took over the driver’s seat in the American League Central with a 3-2 win over the Oakland Athletics. The Royals have officially caught the Detroit Tigers and sit with a half game lead for the division.
Kansas City is riding an eight-game winning streak and have taken 16 of their last 19. Many will doubt if the Royals will be able to hold off the star-studded Tigers, but those doubters would be wrong. Kansas City is the real deal and Detroit needs to make a move if they want to keep up.
The Royals are one of the most well rounded teams in baseball. Among American League teams, Kansas City is fifth in fielding percentage, third in batting average, third in ERA, and first in steals.
Their only glaring weakness is their power. The Royals are still last in the league with 71 homeruns, but help is on the way. Josh Willingham is being sent over from the Minnesota Twins for minor league pitcher Jason Adam. Willingham is a much better answer for the Royals’ power struggles than the 42-year-old Raul Ibanez.
On top of Willingham’s production, Billy Butler has come alive after a complete power outage to start the season. His four homeruns in the last 16 contests more than doubled what he had on the season. Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez are picking up their power numbers as well.
The Tigers were aggressive in grabbing Joakim Soria and David Price, but injuries to Soria and Anibal Sanchez are going to set them back. It’s going to be a good fight, but don’t be fooled by Detroit’s star power. The Royals are the team to beat in the AL Central now.