Prediction forecasts failure for Royals

Cody Lee, Staff Writer

This week pitchers and catchers report to spring training to start a new season of Major League Baseball. Every year about this time projection systems start coming out with their predictions on what win-loss record teams will finish with in the upcoming year. 

These are obviously never a sure thing because baseball is so tough to predict but these systems take into account a lot of variables so there is a solid science behind it. One of the more well known projection systems that people pay attention to is called PECOTA. It is a system that is not usually known to make outrageous predictions, which is what makes their projections of this years Kansas City Royals team absolutely laughable.  

Last year the Royals went 95-67 in the regular season, which doesn’t include the wins that they picked up on their way to a World Series Championship. PECOTA is projecting the Royals to go 76-86 this year, which would be almost 20 less wins from the previous campaign. 

I understand the Royals lost Ben Zobrist and Johnny Cueto in free agency at the end of the season but if we are being completely honest those two were not what made last year’s team so good. Yes, Zobrist is the best super utility player in the game today but he is also at the ripe age of 34 and it would be foolish not to predict major decline in his abilities in the near future. 

Aside from two fantastic postseason starts Cueto was not the same dominant arm from previous years while he was in a Royals uniform. 

The team resigned one of the best left fielders in baseball in Alex Gordon so he can finish his career in Kansas City, which makes me think that the Royals haven’t lost much from last year’s team. 

If a couple of young guys step up and fill the roles that Zobrist and Cueto previously occupied then this year’s team is bound to shatter any projection that is thrown their way. 

This time last year the Royals were projected to go 74-88 so maybe this is just PECOTA’s way of motivating the Royals to another World Series Championship. 

Only time will tell.