These five statistics illustrate how the Royals have markedly improved in 2024

Anyone who came out to the Royals’ recently concluded homestand never saw the team trail.

In all six wins, the Royals either had the lead or were tied. They’ve on a roll, winning 11 of their last 14, and at 32-19 are 13 games over .500 for the first time since ending the 2015 season 28 games over .500.

It’s been a remarkable turnaround for the Royals, who lost 106 games a year ago. Here is a closer look at five statistics that show why the team is playing so much better this season, plus some other numbers of note.

1. Fewer runs allowed

The Star’s Sam McDowell wrote about the incredible effort of the Royals’ rotation on the homestand.

Overall, the Royals’ pitching staff has the eighth-lowest ERA (3.40) and only two teams have allowed fewer runs overall than the Royals’ 175. In the 2023 season, the Royals allowed the third-most runs in baseball (859).

And, yes, the rotation has been incredible. The starters have a 3.03 ERA, which is fourth in baseball. They have thrown 291 1/3 innings, the second-most in the majors.

A year ago, the Royals’ rotation had the second-worst ERA in the American League (5.12).

2. More runs scored

Much of the focus rightfully has been on the pitching, but the Royals’ offense has been markedly improved from the 2023 season.

A year ago, the Royals ranked 25th in Major League Baseball in runs scored. This season, they are tied for the American League lead in runs scored (247), which is the third-most in Major League Baseball. The Royals are also tied for third in doubles (91) and tied for second with 13 triples.

They’re also putting the ball in play more than most teams. Royals batters have struck out 352 times, which is the third-lowest number in Major League Baseball. Only three teams in MLB have hit into fewer double plays than the Royals (27).

But perhaps the biggest improvement from last season is the team’s average with runners in scoring position. The Royals lead all of baseball with a .308 average in those situations. In 2023, they batted .246, which was 23rd.

3. Locking down the K

The Royals finished a perfect homestand on Wednesday, winning all six games and never trailing a single inning.

With a 21-8 record at Kauffman Stadium, the Royals are tied with the Phillies for the most home victories in baseball.

The Royals didn’t win their 21st game at Kauffman Stadium last year until Aug. 11. They opened the season by losing 36 of their first 50 games at home.

4. Fielding reversal

The Fielding Bible calculated the Royals as having negative-15 defensive runs saved last year, which was 23rd in baseball.

This season, the Royals are plus-24 in defensive runs saved. Only the Dodgers (plus-36) and Blue Jays (plus-30) are better defensively. The biggest improvement has been at second base (negative-9 in 2023 to plus-9 this season).

Royals first basemen have gone from negative-10 to plus-3, and while left field is zero defensive runs saved this season, a year ago that was negative-9.

5. Improved on base paths

FanGraphs’ Base Running statistic “turns stolen bases, caught stealings, and other base running plays (taking extra bases, being thrown out on the bases, etc) into runs above and below average.”

This season, the Royals rank third in the majors at 5.3, behind only the Brewers and Reds. In 2023, they were seventh (8.8), so it’s a modest improvement. But they’ve been better in that area, too.

And the Royals have been more successful stealing bases. A year ago, they had a 78% stolen base percentage (24th in MLB). This season, it’s up to 83% (10th in MLB).