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Kansas City Royals Betting Tips – American League Preview: Kansas City Royals

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 2/10/2013 6:20:11 PM

You might think that betting lines will suggest that the Kansas City Royals should finish last in the American League Central Division, but recent history indicates otherwise. For years the Royals were the permanent leasers of the cellar in the A.L. Central, a team constantly looking towards the future and stuck dealing away players such as Johnny Damon, Zack Greinke and Carlos Beltran, as they looked to stack up on prospects. While it worked for some teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, it never paid off for Kansas City. However, the Royals finally made some progress last year, finishing 72-90 and winding up third in the division.

The lineup had some bright spots in 2012 but needed more depth to it to make it a formidable group. Only two teams in the American League scored fewer runs than Kansas City. Billy Butler made the All-Star team as the lumber in the middle of the lineup and can be counted on to be a big part of any success the Royals hope to have in 2013.

One of Kansas City's biggest problems in the eyes of online sports betting legal entities is the team's inability to hit for power. Despite having one of the highest batting averages as a team in the A.L., as well as the fewest strikeouts of any team in the league, the Royals simply could not clear the bases, registering only 131 home runs, tied for last. Even horse betting experts could tell you that 131 home runs for a baseball team in a 162-game season is not very good. Much of this problem falls on the shoulders of Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer, two players expected to make key contributions who didn’t do so last year. Add in the trade of top prospect Wil Myers in the offseason, and Kansas City knows it needs guys from last year to step up and compliment Butler.

The Royals realized that the next step to moving up and contending for a playoff spot was going out and getting some pitching, and that's what the team did. Kansas City went out and acquired Ervin Santana, James Shields and Wade Davis in two separate trades, hoping one of them can turn into the ace that the team has lacked for years. In Santana and Shields, they get two proven pitchers in the American League who will look for a bounce-back year in a division that doesn’t possess the power lineups that the A.L. East does or, for that matter, the elite power hitters present in Texas and Anaheim in the A.L. West.

Late relief will also be a concern for this team. Baseball people will wonder who will get the ball at the ends of games. After trading Jonathan Broxton to the Reds last season, Greg Holland took over the closing duties and closed out 16 games. The bullpen posted respectable ERAs throughout last year, and if it can duplicate its performance behind the team's starting pitching (which is expected to be better), things could work out well for the Royals.

Although the A.L. Central is probably the easiest division of the three in the American League, it will likely only net one playoff spot, meaning Kansas City would likely have to win the division to qualify for the playoffs. While the Royals made moves to give themselves a chance to do that, it’s unlikely they’ll improve enough to overtake a Detroit Tiger team that possesses one of the best pitchers (if not the best) in the game, as well as the American League MVP. Another year or two and Kansas City may be able to contend for a playoff spot.

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