The Royals have just gone 8-0 against three of the best teams in baseball, and they've done it under the brightest lights on the most important nights. This team is flat out fun to watch, and more fun to root for, precisely because they are, in fact, significant underdogs (the last eight games be damned). You've heard this so often that it's nearly cliche: The playoffs are a crapshoot. This Royals team is the most clear example of that meme that we have seen in my lifetime.
Consider a few statistics:
|Team OFF Runs||10.4||68.7||23.3||-40.8|
|Team ISO||.137 (13th)||.140 (11th)||0.166 (2nd)||.113 (30th!)|
|HR per game PS||1.0||1.3||0.9||1.0|
|R per game in PS||8.0||2.0||4.7||5.3|
|FIP (AL only)||3.67 (6th)||3.57 (3rd)||3.96 (11th)||3.69 (8th)|
The Royals were the bottom quarter of the league offensively, and flat last in power, well behind the Angels, O's and A's.
The Royals were around average in terms of pitching, slotting in at 16th amongst all teams, and 8th among the 15 AL teams. The Angels, O's, and A's were 3rd, 11th, and 6th (so at least they're now on the statistical scoreboard versus the O's. No naked lap required).
Most important, the Royals were a tic above average versus the league over the course of the year via run differential. The A's, Angels, and O's were exceptional.
But the scoreboard beckons, and it reads as follows:
Royals: 8 Rest of World: Nothing
That's a lot of naked laps. Get your bets in -- next roll coming.