WhatIfSports: What if the Royals dominate the All-Star Game?
Editorial Note: WhatIfSports.com’s MLB simulation engine relies on the statistical resumes of each player/team to generate its simulated predictions and projections. It removes subjective bias from the argument and lets the stats tell the story the best they can using advanced algorithms.
While baseball fans and pundits continue to fight the politically incorrect urge to speak out of both corners of their mouths, the dark truth remains that the chemically induced power surge we witnessed over a decade ago would be a welcomed sight. Baseball’s closeted fact holds especially true when the game’s greats convene for the annual All-Star Game. However, if the voters of the greater-Kansas City area continue to have it their way, fundamental offensive baseball will supersede any hope for an offensive onslaught from the American League.
Statistically speaking, the Royals are good at baseball. It’s a profound statement when speaking of the World Series runner-up from a season ago, we know. But at time of publication (June 12), Kansas City led the AL Central by two games, boasting the second-best win percentage in the bigs. Their starting lineup, which has reinvented its batting order year-over-year, showcases a blend of homegrown talent with free agent puzzle pieces (finally) playing to their potential. That potential doesn’t exactly equate to baseballs flying all over the yard, but if your chicks dig the high-contact percentages over home runs, they are in for a treat.
A quick recap of the Royals’ high-water marks at this point in the season: they own the lowest strike out percentage (15.8%), highest line-drive rate a.k.a making solid contact (23.2%), fourth-best batting average (.269) and contact percentage (81.7%) in all of MLB. Eight of their nine regular hitters have racked up 10-or-more doubles with six out of eight owning a slugging percentage higher than the American League average of .396. However, only the Braves and Phillies have hit fewer home runs as a team.
Yet, the Royals’ faithful are stuffing the ballot box to send their boys to Cincinnati for the 2015 All-Star Game. Seven out of the nine lineup spots – including Kendrys Morales in the DH-slot – lead American League voting. The face of MLB, Mike Trout, and everybody’s favorite 5-foot-6 spark plug, Jose Altuve, have managed to earn enough votes to join the Royals frat party.
So, how would the Royals with a side of Trout and Altuve fare against the current National League All-Star roster? We fired up the Whatifsports.com MLB simulation engine with the rosters below and “played” the 2015 All-Star game 101 times.
After, 101 simulations the WhatIfSports computers project the National League to win 64.3 percent of the time. The National League averaged 5.0 runs per game, while the American League averaged 3.5 runs per game in the 101 simulations.
As with all simulations, pay close attention to the wording of the results. They are not always black and white as much as sports fans want to paint predictions and projections with a finite brush. The simulation engine believes the National League will win 64 percent of the time, but also believes the American League has better than a 1-in-3 chance to win the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati. Again, not black and white results.