Fantasy Baseball: Kansas City Royals 2014 Starting Rotation Preview

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Feb 25, 2014; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher James Shields (33) looks on during a workout at Surprise Stadium practice area Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

This article is part of a series previewing the starting rotations of all the teams in the Major Leagues. Click here, for other articles in this preview series.   At Fansided’s Fantasy Baseball page, you can find a number of great resources to help you succeed in your league this season.

According to a different pundit each year, the Royals are on the verge of a breakthrough.  The problem for Kansas City and their fans is that the breakthrough hasn’t happened quite yet.  It seems they’re a few years away every season without the mythical playoff run getting any closer.  Can this year be any different?

If the Royals are going to make a serious playoff push, they’ll need a good year from the back end of their rotation.  They have some interesting pieces in place and may not be as far away as some people may think.  Last season the Royals starters posted a combined 3.87 ERA which was almost the exact same as the World Champion Red Sox and was better than the Indians and Rangers who were both in the Wild Card hunt right to the end.  Poor run support led to only a 53-52 record for the KC starters and they did rank in the bottom third of the MLB in strikeouts and opponents batting average.

In the offseason, the Royals made a few changes to their rotation losing Ervin Santana to free agency and replacing him with Jason Vargas who joins the team after a year in LA pitching for the Angels.

The Royals don’t have many starting pitching options that are fantasy relevant as players you need to draft and keep throughout the season, but there definitely is some value as streaming options behind James Shields.  The issue with KC’s starters is that they typically have a low strikeout rate which limits their fantasy upside.

In the following slides, you can find a look at each of the projected starters for the Royals, the basic numbers of each player from last season, and what I expect for the coming season.

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