AL Central Second-Half Preview

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Jul 16, 2013; Flushing, NY, USA; American League pitcher Greg Holland (56) of the Kansas City Royals throws a pitch in the 7th inning in the 2013 All Star Game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

At the start of the year, I thought this team was a little better than a team that sits at six games under .500 to open the second half of the season.

The Royals have their high points, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the same thing every year – hovering in the bottom three teams in the division –with the Royals, and I can see them fighting their way to second place in the Central, but no farther than that.

They’ll open the second half with a task where they can prove me right or wrong in facing the Central-leading Tigers.

KC ranks 14th in BA in MLB at .256 as a team, but other than that, their numbers don’t impress much with 365 runs (24th), an OBP of .311 (19th) and a slugging percentage of .375, good for the 28th spot in baseball.

They are average at home at 22-22 and worse on the road at 21-27, as they have a negative run differential at -8, compared to the Tigers at +89 and the Indians (+25).

Eric Hosmer leads the Royals at the plate with a .285 BA and nine home runs, with Alex Gordon leading with a team-high 49 RBIs and 99 hits. Billy Butler has the high in OBP at .371.

One plus I see for the Royals is a pitcher named Greg Holland. After finding out more about him after I omitted him from my AL All-Star Snub List, I’ve come to enjoy Holland and his many accomplishments. He has an ERA of 1.80 with 22 saves and 60 strikeouts in just 35 innings (36 appearances).

Again, my outlook for the Royals is they could make a run at the Indians, and they should make a run at them for the second-place spot, but if they don’t, I wouldn’t be surprised. Let’s just say, I’d be more surprised if they did make a run in this division.