Are home runs the root of the problem for the Royals?

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals are off to a slow start. With just 21-wins at memorial day weekend, Kansas City finds themselves in last place of the American League. Many old-timers and get-off-my-lawn baseball fans pin this on the long ball. These same guys--or girls--also are stuck in the times of value pitcher wins. There are plenty of ways to poke holes in that theory. However, it involves numbers so brace yourself; As we all know how hard it is for fans to read numbers and accept the new information given.

The Kansas City Royals entering Saturday afternoons game with the Cleveland Indians are sitting at 20-27, while being 7-games back in the AL Central. As far as the second AL wildcard spot, Kansas City has a 5.5-game hole to inch their way out of. What has caused this somewhat puzzling plummet in Kansas City?

Many folks will blame the long ball. They say, Home runs "kill rallies!" and "Produce more strike outs!" adding "You can not win that way!" but for the Royals, is that the case? First of all, home runs in themselves can not kill rallies. That is just an idiotic theory, and an inaccurate statement as home-runs ensure a run--or more--will be scored.

The top ten teams in baseball in terms of home runs entering Saturday:

Washington Nationals

Arizona Diamondbacks

Tampa Bay Rays

Houston Astros

New York Yankees

Milwaukee Brewers

Oakland A's

Colorado Rockies

Texas Rangers

Baltimore Orioles.

Of those teams--if the season ended today--who would have a playoff spot?

The Nationals lead the NL East by a large margin.

The Diamondbacks hold the first NL wildcard spot.

The Rays are two games out of a wildcard spot.

The Astros are running away with the AL West.

The Yankees lead in the AL East.

Are you noticing a trend here?

The Brewers sit three games out of a wildcard spot.

The outlier A's are the third worst team in the AL.

The Rockies lead the NL West.

The Rangers have turned it on in the last week and now 3 back of a wild card spot.

The Orioles own the second wild card spot in the AL.

But yes, home runs are the direct correlation to losing.

The Kansas City Royals have slugged 54-home-runs, that is 4-fewer-homers than the league average. It is an uptick for Kansas City, but in the grand scheme of things, it is a minor improvement. How many runs have the Royals scored this year in general? The Royals are in last place. They have only crossed the plate 159-times. The Giants--who are in 29th place--are 7-runs ahead of the Royals. How about batting average? Shield your eyes kids. The Royals hit for an average of .228 which slots them at 29th in the majors. But come on, I mean, with the upticks in home runs they HAVE to be striking out more, right? The Kansas City Royals sit 11-teams under the league average for strike outs. They've been sit back on strikes 359-times.

The Kansas City Royals rank 29th in On-base-percentage, They have grounded into 44-double-plays, which is 6-more than the league average. Kansas City draws the least amount of walks in the majors--so much for keeping the line moving--while also collecting the least amount of hits of any major league ball-club. The Royals average 3.38-runs-per-game while the league average sits at 4.54-runs-per-game.

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