Analyzing The Royals’ (And Other Contenders’) Schedules Reviewed by Momizat on . If you want a reason for optimism concerning the Royals as the second half starts, here it is. Of the teams that are in the mix for the second wild-card spot ri If you want a reason for optimism concerning the Royals as the second half starts, here it is. Of the teams that are in the mix for the second wild-card spot ri Rating: 0
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Analyzing The Royals’ (And Other Contenders’) Schedules

Analyzing The Royals’ (And Other Contenders’) Schedules

If you want a reason for optimism concerning the Royals as the second half starts, here it is. Of the teams that are in the mix for the second wild-card spot right now, Kansas City has one of the easiest schedules (on paper, of course).

The All-Star Break is a great time to compare remaining schedules, since we’ve got four days to look at the data. In addition to the actual records, I have added the Pythagorean records to show the “actual” strength of each team’s remaining schedule. The weighted wins and losses are simply the particular opponent’s actual/Pythagorean wins and losses multiplied by the number of games left against that team.

For purposes of this discussion, I’m ignoring the Angels, who are 6.5 games ahead of Seattle, the team currently holding down that second wild-card spot. I’m also ignoring Oakland, who holds a 1.5 game lead on Los Angeles in the AL West. It’s highly likely one will win the division and the other will be the first wild-card.

However, the AL East is pretty open, and both the Royals and Cleveland have at least a slim chance of winning the AL Central (I suppose). So I’m including those division leaders, Baltimore and Detroit, in this.

First, let’s look at the Royals. Of their 68 remaining games, 52 are against teams at .500 or worse. The 16 games against winning teams include seven against Oakland (gulp), six against Detroit (that’s worked out well so far this season) and three against San Francisco. If the Royals can manage to split those 16 somehow and go 30-22 in the others, that’s 86 wins, which might be enough this season.

Kansas City (68 games left)
OpponentGames AgainstActual WinsActual LossesPythag WinsPythag LossesWeighted Actual WinsWeighted Actual LossesWeighted Pythagorean WinsWeighted Pythagorean LossesWeighted Actual Winning PercentageWeighted Pythagorean Winning Percentage
Arizona340564056120168120168.417.417
Boston743524352301364301364.453.453
Chicago (A)1045514650450510460500.469.479
Cleveland1047474648470470460480.500.489
Colorado2405543528011086104.421.453
Detroit653385140318228306240.582.560
Minnesota1044504549440500450490.468.479
New York (A)447474351188188172204.500.457
Oakland759366332413252441224.621.663
San Francisco352435045156129150135.547.526
Texas638573758228342222348.400.389
TOTALS685085325075333164326131683257.492.493

Now let’s look at Cleveland. The Indians also have 68 games left; 39 are against teams at .500 or worse. That’s in part because they play the Royals 10 times. Those games are looking pretty big right now. Cleveland also has to face Detroit 11 times; as long as the standings remain the same, I suppose we have to be big Tiger fans those days.

Cleveland (68 games left)
OpponentGames AgainstActual WinsActual LossesPythag WinsPythag LossesWeighted Actual WinsWeighted Actual LossesWeighted Pythagorean WinsWeighted Pythagorean LossesWeighted Actual Winning PercentageWeighted Pythagorean Winning Percentage
Arizona2405640568011280112.417.417
Baltimore352425044156126150132.553.532
Chicago (A)645514650270306276300.469.479
Cincinnati451445144204176204176.537.537
Detroit1153385140583418561440.582.560
Houston740563957280392273399.417.406
Kansas City1048464747480460470470.511.500
Los Angeles (A)15737563857375638.606.596
Minnesota1244504549528600540588.468.479
New York (A)347474351141141129153.500.457
Seattle351445540153132165120.537.579
Tampa Bay344534651132159138153.454.474
Texas338573758114171111174.400.389
TOTALS686106216066253178323031533255.496.492

Detroit has 71 games left; 51 are against losing or .500 teams. That’s going to make them tough to catch.

Detroit (71 games left)
OpponentGames AgainstActual WinsActual LossesPythag WinsPythag LossesWeighted Actual WinsWeighted Actual LossesWeighted Pythagorean WinsWeighted Pythagorean LossesWeighted Actual Winning PercentageWeighted Pythagorean Winning Percentage
Arizona340564056120168120168.417.417
Chicago (A)1045514650450510460500.469.479
Cleveland1147474648517517506528.500.489
Colorado340554352120165129156.421.453
Kansas City648464747288276282282.511.500
Los Angeles (A)457375638228148224152.606.596
Minnesota1144504549484550495539.468.479
New York (A)747474351329329301357.500.457
Pittsburgh449464748196184188192.516.495
San Francisco352435045156129150135.547.526
Seattle351445540153132165120.537.579
Tampa Bay344534651132159138153.454.474
Toronto349475046147141150138.510.521
TOTALS716136226146213320340833083420.493.492

Over in the AL East, Baltimore holds a four-game lead over Toronto and five games over New York. The Orioles, however, are only four games better than the Royals. Baltimore will face winning teams 31 times in their final 68 games. That includes seven games against Seattle and nine against the Blue Jays. They also play 13 games against teams right at .500, including 10 versus the Yankees. In other words, the AL East is wide open.

Baltimore (68 games left)
OpponentGames AgainstActual WinsActual LossesPythag WinsPythag LossesWeighted Actual WinsWeighted Actual LossesWeighted Pythagorean WinsWeighted Pythagorean LossesWeighted Actual Winning PercentageWeighted Pythagorean Winning Percentage
Boston643524352258312258312.453.453
Chicago (A)345514650135153138150.469.479
Chicago (N)340544450120162132150.426.468
Cincinnati351445144153132153132.537.537
Cleveland347474648141141138144.500.489
Los Angeles (A)657375638342222336228.606.596
Minnesota444504549176200180196.468.479
New York (A)1047474351470470430510.500.457
Oakland35936633217710818996.621.663
St. Louis352445046156132150138.542.521
Seattle751445540357308385280.537.579
Tampa Bay744534651308371322357.454.474
Toronto949475046441423450414.510.521
Washington15142543951425439.548.581
TOTALS686806486926363285317633153146.508.513

Toronto has 66 games left; 21 are against winning teams, plus 10 against the .500 Yankees.

Toronto (66 games left)
OpponentGames AgainstActual WinsActual LossesPythag WinsPythag LossesWeighted Actual WinsWeighted Actual LossesWeighted Pythagorean WinsWeighted Pythagorean LossesWeighted Actual Winning PercentageWeighted Pythagorean Winning Percentage
Baltimore952425044468378450396.553.532
Boston1343524352559676559676.453.453
Chicago (A)345514650135153138150.469.479
Chicago (N)340544450120162132150.426.468
Detroit353385140159114153120.582.560
Houston440563957160224156228.417.406
Milwaukee2534350461068610092.552.521
New York (A)1047474351470470430510.500.457
Seattle751445540357308385280.537.579
Tampa Bay944534651396477414459.454.474
Texas338573758114171111174.400.389
TOTALS665065375045393044321930283235.486.483

New York is somehow at .500 this year, despite being outscored by 37 runs and suffering a bunch of injuries. Pooooor Yankees, right? Anyway, New York faces winning teams 30 times in their last 68 games. It will be interesting to see if Yankee magic can pull them through.

New York (68 games left)
OpponentGames AgainstActual WinsActual LossesPythag WinsPythag LossesWeighted Actual WinsWeighted Actual LossesWeighted Pythagorean WinsWeighted Pythagorean LossesWeighted Actual Winning PercentageWeighted Pythagorean Winning Percentage
Baltimore1052425044520420500440.553.532
Boston943524352387468387468.453.453
Chicago (A)345514650135153138150.469.479
Cincinnati351445144153132153132.537.537
Cleveland347474648141141138144.500.489
Detroit753385140371266357280.582.560
Houston340563957120168117171.417.406
Kansas City448464747192184188188.511.500
Tampa Bay944534651396477414459.454.474
Texas738573758266399259406.400.389
Toronto1049475046490470500460.510.521
TOTALS685105335065373171327831513298.492.489

In the AL West, leaving Oakland and Los Angeles out of it, the Royals’ main competition is Seattle. The Mariners have been hot lately, but it will be interesting to see if they can maintain it against a very tough schedule over their final 67 games. Seattle faces above-.500 teams 38 times, plus three games against Cleveland. While it might look advantageous to be in the same division with Houston and Texas, the Mariners also have to play the Angels 10 times and the Athletics six times.

Seattle (67 games left)
OpponentGames AgainstActual WinsActual LossesPythag WinsPythag LossesWeighted Actual WinsWeighted Actual LossesWeighted Pythagorean WinsWeighted Pythagorean LossesWeighted Actual Winning PercentageWeighted Pythagorean Winning Percentage
Atlanta252434946104869892.547.516
Baltimore752425044364294350308.553.532
Boston343524352129156129156.453.453
Chicago (A)445514650180204184200.469.479
Cleveland347474648141141138144.500.489
Detroit353385140159114153120.582.560
Houston640563957240336234342.417.406
Los Angeles (A)1057375638570370560380.606.596
New York (N)345505045135150150135.474.526
Oakland659366332354216378192.621.663
Philadelphia342534253126159126159.442.442
Texas738573758266399259406.400.389
Toronto749475046343329350322.510.521
Washington351425439153126162117.548.581
TOTALS676736516766483007286830112864.512.513

As you can see, the Royals, Indians, and Tigers play roughly the same strength of schedule the rest of the way. Based on opponents’ winning percentages, Toronto actually has the easiest schedule left. New York has a schedule similar to the AL Central teams.

 

About The Author

I grew up in Topeka, and learned to love the Royals over many summer nights listening to Denny and Fred. Of course, the Royals were much easier to love back then. They got their claws in me some 30 years ago, then they went to the playoffs in 1984 and won it all in 1985. And I thought to myself, "This is easy. This team is always going to be good!" Sigh. But what can I say? If I've made it this far, I suppose I will always be a fan. But whenever they get good again, I'll be sure not to take it for granted. I promise. I'm also a fan of the Chiefs, Jayhawks (even the football team), Sporting KC, and the Nashville Predators. By day, I'm a mild-mannered project manager for a publishing company, and every night I'm lucky to come home to my amazing wife Michelle. We've been married since 2005 and live in Overland Park. Fun fact, she grew up in Memphis watching many future Royals when Kansas City's AA team was there. So it didn't take much to make a Royals fan out of her. We don't have kids, but we've got three cats (one named after Alex Gordon) and a dog. Follow me on Twitter! @Darin_Watson

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