Why The Kansas City Royals Are The Biggest Threat In The AL Pennant Race

The Kansas City Royals are the hottest team in baseball, going 18-3 over their last 21 games, putting them right back in the thick of the AL Wild Card race. Once left for that, the Royals are now playing like the defending World Series champs - and that means bad things fro the rest of the American League. Here are three reasons why the Royals are the biggest threat in the AL pennant race:

3) Experience
This team is far from the group of young players that made the surprising run to the World Series in 2014. Two years later, this is a group that has routinely pulled out clutch wins and accomplished absurd comebacks. They've not only learned what it takes to win, but they've learned what it takes to be great - especially during this time of year. As a result, they've brought their playoff chances back from the dead.

The Royals expect nothing less than another World Series crown, and most importantly, they know what it takes to get there. They've elevated their play at the right time, and #RallyMantis has given them all the belief they need. 

2) Improved pitching
Pitching struggles were Kansas City's Achilles heel during their first half struggles, but they have since rebounded to be pretty respectable in that category. The Royals rank in the top 10 in the majors in both ERA and batting average against, improvements that have spearheaded this run. They still need Edinson Volquez and Ian Kennedy to be a bit more consistent, but things are moving in the right direction for the Royals.

1) Remaining schedule
Furthering matters for Kansas City is that there is plenty of opportunity in the next month for them to continue their run. 17 of their remaining 32 games are against teams with losing records. Six of the other 15 games against the Tigers, who the Royals are 9-4 against this season. That's 23 games where they have a distinct advantage, and while they won't win all of those games, they should win most of them - plus a good portion of the other nine. As a result, the Royals' run doesn't appear to have an end in sight.

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Related Topics: MLB News, Edinson Volquez, Royals News, Ian Kennedy