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2013 MLB Previews: Expectations for Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals actually weren’t half bad in 2013. They had just an average rotation, but their lineup ranked in the top 10 of all baseball teams statistically for the season. Surprisingly, the Royals set out this offseason to improve the weak part of their team and to say they succeeded is an understatement.

It’s bee a long time since the Royals were relevant in baseball, but they got closer to .500 in 2012 and finished third in the National League Central. Now with new starting pitchers James Shields, Ervin Santana and Wade Davis in the fold to bolster their rotation, the Royals could turn heads in 2013.

The Chicago White Sox–who finished second in the NL Central last year–were pleasantly surprising in 2012, but they have a small window of opportunity in which to contend with a slew of inexperienced youngsters and a handful of aging stars. The Detroit Tigers–who won the NL Central last year–were very sluggish at times during the season and often didn’t play up to their potential.

If either of these teams slips at all in 2013, the Royals will be right on their heels and could possibly come out of nowhere to win the division if Shields and company pitch like they’re capable of doing. In other words, don’t call the Royals a dark horse in 2013.