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#4. AL Central: Kansas City Royals

March 22, 2017 GMT

Projected record: 73-89Projected run differential: -76Fangraphs and PECOTA were split on the Royals’ 2017 chances -- Fangraphs thinks they’ll be bad, while PECOTA thinks they’ll be horrible. PECOTA saddled Kansas City with the second-worst run differential in the league, ahead of only the Padres. Four of the Royals’ projected starting everyday players -- Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas -- are set to become free agents after this season, which puts added pressure on winning in 2017. This is still the same core from 2015′s World Series team, with the additions of Jorge Soler and Brandon Moss.On the pitching side of things, we must acknowledge the shocking and tragic loss of Yordano Ventura, who passed away in a car accident this offseason far too young. Danny Duffy will serve as the team’s ace, with Ian Kennedy and Jason Hammel providing solid depth. The bullpen features Kelvin Herrera and Joakim Soria at the backend, as the unit has far less bite than it did two years ago.