5 Biggest Obstacles Facing Kansas City Royals Down the Stretch

5 Biggest Obstacles Facing Kansas City Royals Down the Stretch

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The Kansas City Royals are in position to make the playoffs for the first time since 1985. They sit atop the AL Central with a two-game lead, but there is still plenty of baseball to play. The Royals have won their last eight series and 21 of their last 26 games. Keeping up that level of success is not likely, but in order to keep winning in general, Kansas City will have to deal with a few obstacles.

5. Getting the Best Bats in the Lineup

Kansas City Royals v Tampa Bay Rays
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5. Getting the Best Bats in the Lineup

Kansas City Royals v Tampa Bay Rays
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Josh Willingham has been a great addition for the Royals, but where will he play when Eric Hosmer comes back from injury? Billy Butler has been manning first base and Willingham has filled in for Butler at DH. Will there be a rotation of Willingham, Butler and Hosmer? He certainly won't be taking Alex Gordon's spot in left field. Maybe the team will sacrifice some speed and put him in right field in place of Norichika Aoki.

4. Inexperience

Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins
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4. Inexperience

Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins
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As a team that hasn't made the playoffs in almost 30 years, the Royals have very little experience playing in meaningful games. James Shields, Wade Davis, Raul Ibanez and Omar Infante are the only players on the roster who have played in the postseason.

3. Power

Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins
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3. Power

Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins
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The big question in Kansas City all season has been the power hitting. Willingham definitely brings a boost, and a few other bats have picked up the pace in the team's recent hot streak. If this is just a small flare up, the Royals will be in trouble. They need sustained power to keep winning.

2. Ned Yost

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2. Ned Yost

Cleveland Indians v Kansas City Royals
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The Royals' manager deserves some credit for the team's success this season, but he has a way of making a lot of Kansas City fans nervous. There have been way too many past managerial decisions that had no basis of logic for fans to feel comfortable with Yost. He has to keep away from his 'gut moves' and stay with what works. Dayton Moore has put together a talented, well-rounded team. Yost needs to stay out of his own way.

1. The Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals
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1. The Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals
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Just as it's too much to expect the Royals to stay so hot, it's unrealistic to expect Detroit to stay so cold. They're 13-18 since the All-Star break, but that won't likely keep up. Outside of their terrible bullpen, Detroit is loaded with talent. On top of that, their schedule is soft for the rest of the season. Other than six games with Kansas City, the Tigers don't face any other team currently in position to make the playoffs.

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