The Royals last played a meaningful baseball game on October 29, 2014. It’s been a shorter than usual offseason, but still… Winters are long. And harsh.

Nevermind all that. Baseball is back today. The Royals open their defense of the American League pennant at 3:10 against Central Division rival Chicago White Sox. Yes, baseball is back.

Happy Opening Day.

(Brief side note – This is the 10th year of Royals Authority. Clark started blogging back in February of 2005. I picked up the virtual pen a month later. We joined forces around June or July and have been going ever since. Ten years of blogging together. Damn, that’s a lot of time spent writing about this team. I do know I won’t check my bank balance to see how profitable this venture has been.)

The Royals set their 25-man roster by adding Franklin Morales as expected, and, in a bit of an upset, Ryan Madson. I thought the Royals felt Madson needed more time before he could be subjected to the rigors of the regular season, but it looks like he was going to get a major league offer from another team, which forced Dayton Moore’s hand. They had a “gentlemen’s agreement” in place allowing Madson to leave for a major league job if he wasn’t going to make the Royals. Rumor was, there was at least one team interested, so Madson gets the job over Brian Flynn who has options left and will travel to Omaha to open the year.

It’s become a bit of a tradition (at least in my mind it’s a tradition) that I ask readers to make their predictions in this space. I do that for posterity. Think the team is going to go nuts and win 95? Post it here. Feeling pessimistic and think a 90 loss season is in the cards? That’s what the comment section is for, so use it.

Here are my picks:

I think the Royals will win 83 games. A solid season, but ultimately they will fall short of October. I think the Central will be tight once again. It’s difficult to find a favorite here. All teams have their strengths. (Except for the Twins.) All teams have their weaknesses. (Especially the Twins.) There are arguments to be had for the Royals, Indians, Tigers and White Sox for making a run and outlasting their rivals.

Here is my order of finish:

AL Central
Detroit
Cleveland
Kansas City
Chicago
Minnesota

AL East
Toronto
Boston
Baltimore
Tampa
New York

AL West
Seattle
Los Angeles
Texas
Oakland
Houston

NL Central
Pittsburgh
Milwaukee
St Louis
Chicago
Cincinnati

NL East
Washington
New York
Miami
Philadelphia
Atlanta

NL West
Los Angeles
San Diego
San Francisco
Colorado
Arizona

Wild Cards
Boston
Los Angeles

New York
San Diego

World Series

Toronto and San Diego

These are unscientific, yet binding. So binding. And hopefully not boring. I’ve seen too many Washington picks for the World Series. One thing we know, at least one Wild Card team will probably make a deep run. Why not San Diego this year?

Bookmark this and feel free to throw it in my face at a later date. And if you’re so bold, leave a prediction or two in the comments. I’m specifically interested in your guess at the Royals win total and where they will finish in the Central. Although if you want to predict the entire league, I’m good with that.

Play ball.

Happy Opening Day

Defending American League champs.