The Royals have the longest current postseason drought in major league baseball, as they have not reached October since 1985. Near the end of last season, they seemed as if they were making a surge to find a way in, but the Tigers proved to be too strong and were able to hold them off. The Royals were considered favorites coming in to the season to challenge Detroit in the AL Central, and have done just that as we are in the dog days of summer, in the middle of August. They are currently sitting in first place in the AL Central division, only a 1/2 game up on the Tigers, which is the latest they've been in 1st place since August 2003. And even if they do lose that lead, they are right in the mix for the second wild card spot in the AL, as it seems the Angels have a good hold on the top spot. Kansas City began the season cruising along, not terrible but not doing anything special just yet. Then they had a winning streak of 10 games, including big wins over then 1st place team Detroit, to take over first place in the AL Central. The Royals would then struggle following that streak, falling as many as 8 games out of first when Detroit came to town and knocked them around. Kansas City has gone on yet another hot streak (their 8 game winning streak snapped last night against Oakland) and are once again sitting in 1st place. They can thank the Tigers for going 10-16 since the All-Star break, helping them back to the top of the division. So once again the question lies, as it has so many times in the past: Are the Royals for real? The consistency, or lack there of, they have shown this season does not bode well for the KC. Yes, they have looked very good and like a legitimate playoff team at times this season in good stretches. But it seems like once those streaks come to an end, they go back to playing like the last place team they've been in the past. A team with that kind of pace and inconsistency is not bound for October baseball. As of now, despite their recent hot stretch, many are just waiting on the Royals to go back to their struggling ways, and to fall out of 1st place in the division and quite possibly the wild card race. The main key through these hot, and cold streaks is their offense. The bats have gotten hot only sparingly during the hot stretches, but at times they have been forced to depend on pitching to keep the streak going. Alex Gordon has been their most reliable bat, but he has battled injuries and is only hitting .280 (leading the team). Billy Butler has struggled mightily for most of the year, but has heated up a little bit as of late. He is up for possible free agency at the end of the season, and hasn't helped his cause. Butler has been known for his run-producing numbers in the past, but only has 7 HR's and 48 RBI. Mike Moustakas has been back and forth from the minor leagues and hasn't contributed much at all. They recently acquired Josh Willingham, which would've been a good pick up a couple years ago, but he's only hitting just above .200, with 12 HR's, so not what he use to be. The Royals overall do not have the pieces, or the consistency, for an October run, and they are bound to extend their postseason drought to 19 years.
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