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The Royals Probably Won't Win 2016 World Series, According To 'FiveThirtyEight' Blog

Courtesy Kathleen Kunkler

Not content to let the "Boys in Blue" bask in their 2015 World Series glow, popular statistical analysis blog FiveThirtyEight says the Royals only have a four percent chance of winning the World Series this year.

The blog's new daily 2016 MLB predictions are a little more generous for the Royals' playoff and division leadership chances: 47 percent and 29 percent, respectively.

In a separate post detailing FiveThirtyEight's methodology, computational journalist Jay Boice says that many factors go into the analysis, including running 50,000 simulations. Each team gets what's called an "Elo score" that takes numerous variables into account.

"Thanks to Retrosheet, we've collected game results and box scores back to 1871 and used them to create an Elo-based rating system and predictive model for baseball that incorporates home-field advantage, margin of victory, travel, rest and — most importantly — starting pitchers," Boice says. 

The score goes up if a team wins, and scales based on whether the winner was an underdog or the favorite. The system also boosts points for home-field advantage and starting pitchers.

The Royals currently have rating of 1,512. Starting pitchers Edinson Volquez and Yordano Ventura both contribute a 22.5 point total to the team, while pitchers Ian Kennedy, Kris Medlen and Chris Young detract 14 points. 

The site even gives odds for each game in the season. According to FiveThirtyEight, the Royals have a 46 percent chance of beating the Los Angeles Angels Monday. The Angels get boosts because of home-field advantage and their starting pitcher Garrett Richards.

Currently, the Chicago Cubs top the list in terms of playoff, division win and World Series win favorability. The team has gotten a lot of coverage this season due to dominant showings, including a brutal no-hitter, 16-0 spanking against the Cincinnati Reds.

Of course, it's worth mentioning that the Cubs haven't won a World Series in more than a century. Though the Royals also had quite the drought of their own before the last two magical seasons.

Still, it's early in the season. And as any Royals fan knows, a lot can happen between now and October.

Cody Newill is the digital editor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him on Twitter @CodyNewill or send him an email at cody@kcur.org

Cody Newill is part of KCUR's audience development team. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill or email him at cody@kcur.org.
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