Kansas City Royals Betting Preview 2020

Last season, the Kansas City Royals finished with the fourth-fewest wins in Major League Baseball. There is hope in Kansas City with some young talent and new additions, but the team has 100-plus losses in each of the last two seasons. On top of that, the Royals have not had a winning record since winning the World Series in 2015. 

BetUS Sportsbook has the Royals as major longshots to win the World Series (+35000) and the AL Pennant (+15000). Both of those futures bets have Kansas City with the worst odds. 

If you are new to sports betting, please check out our MLB betting hub page to get started.

Kansas City has a new regime with former St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny taking over. John Sherman is in charge at the tops, buying the team in the offseason. 

The main issue for the team last season was pitching with a staff that had the fourth-worst team ERA in MLB. The offense was the highlight, if you can call it that, ranking 19th in runs scored. 

Kansas City Royals 2019 Results

The Royals finished 59-103 and ended up a whopping 42 games out of first place. The club had a run differential of -178, which was fourth-worst in the bigs. 

Jorge Soler had a big season with 48 home runs and 117 RBI. Two other key pieces are back in Whit Merrifield and Hunter Dozier. 

The pitching, or lack of it, was the big issue. Jacob Junis led the team with nine wins but had an ERA of 5.24 and gave up 31 home runs in 175 1/3 innings. 

Matheny never won fewer than 83 games in any full season as Cardinals manager. However, he inherits a team that has not won more than 81 games in the last four seasons and was terrible in the last two seasons. 

Key Additions 

The team went out and landed third baseman Maikel Franco in the offseason. The Royals hope he regains his form from 2016 and 2017, where he had at least 23 home runs and 76 RBI. Last season with the Philadelphia Phillies, he did have 17 long balls and knocked in 56 RBI in 356 at-bats but only batted .234. 

The big “addition” is a player already on the team in All-Star and AL Gold Glove Award-winning catcher Salvador Perez, who returns after missing last season with an injury. In 2018, he hit 27 home runs and had 80 RBI, and his bat and glove behind the plate are needed. 

Matheny is also a key addition. In his time off after being let go by the Cardinals, he went back to school to better his leadership, media relations, and knowledge of analytics. Can that help the young Royals? It remains to be seen. 

Mike Montgomery was signed to help a weak rotation, and while he has started 32 games in the last two seasons, he spent the second half of last season in the bullpen for the Chicago Cubs. 

Kansas City has four highly regarded pitching prospects in Brady Singer, Daniel Lynch, Jackson Kowar, and Kris Bubic, but will any of them see the mound? The Royals’ staff needs help, but will the abbreviated season be the one where these prospects get the nod? 

Big Losses 

The Royals don’t really have many key losses..  Homer Bailey was 7-6 and is now with the Minnesota Twins, while reliever Jake Diekman is with the Oakland A’s. Ned Yost led Kansas City to two World Series (2014 and 2015), winning one, but he is gone after nearly 10 years as the Royals manager. 

Billy Hamilton and Martin Maldanado are also gone, but neither player played 100 games, and neither batted over .227. 


As mentioned before, the Royals have a few issues with the staff. You can likely tell that, as Danny Duffy was been named the Opening Day starter, and he ranked second on the team last season with seven wins. 

Jacob Junis and Brad Keller are two of the other starters in the front end of the rotation, and they combined for 16 wins while each had 14 losses. Junis has to avoid giving up the long ball,. 

Glenn Sparkman gave up 30 home runs last season, going 4-11 with an ERA of 6.02. 

The bullpen is decent with a few young arms and some new ones, while Ian Kennedy is a legit closer who had 30 saves. 


One thing that the Royals have going is talent in the middle of the lineup. Solerwas a monster, Whit Merrifield (.302, 16 HR, 74 RBI) was an All-Star, and Hunter Dozier (26 HR, 84 RBI) is solid. 

Alex Gordon is still a good player (13 HR, 76 RBI), and Adalberto Mondesi may be a budding star. Mondesi led the league with 10 triples along with 43 steals, but he is coming off shoulder surgery. 

The Royals have pop and guys that can knock in runs, but getting on base will be the issue, especially for the top of the order. For the team to take a step forward, getting on base for the middle of the lineup will be vital. 

Kansas City Royals’ Three Key Players 

Soler was huge, leading the AL in home runs in his first full season. Previously,  his season-high was 12. 

Can he be the bomber in the middle of the lineup again? He will get pitches to hit with Merrifield and Dozier around him, so this season may show if he is legit. 

Perez, the 2018 breakout star,heads into this season healthy, and looks to get back to his All-Star and Gold Glove ways. 

The 2018 season was big for Perez, and if he can get back to that form, it will be huge for Kansas Cit. 

In 102 games last season, Mondesi led the league in triples and swiped 43 bases while batting .262 with nine home runs and 62 RBI. 

He can be a star, but the free-swinger has to cut down on strikeouts. His upside is big, but his all-out playing style at the plate and at shortstop can lead to injuries, which is what cut his 2019 season short.

Kansas City Royals Schedule Breakdown

In this abbreviated season, the Royals will play 60 games with 40 AL Central games and 20 interleague games facing teams from the NL Central. 

Kansas City was 10-9 against the Chicago White Sox last season but under .500 against every other team in the AL Central. The team was only 12-26 when facing the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins, who are the teams with the best betting odds to win the AL Central. The Royals were 9-11 in interleague games last season. 

Kansas City was 28-53 on the road last season, and the Royals’ first seven games this season are on the road. They open the season with a three-game stint against the Indians, then have four games facing the Tigers. 

The Royals had little luck against the Twins last season, going 5-14. From Aug. 8 -23, they have three series against the Twins, but at least two are at home. 

If you are new to sports betting, please check out our MLB betting hub page to get started.

BetUS has the Royals with an over/under win total of 25.5 wins, which may be generous considering the team’s recent history. 

The Royals have young talent and a lineup that can be legit. However, pitching is a big issue. Look for the Royals to put up runs but for them to give up many more, as the playoffs are not in the cards. 


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