Entering Tuesday's action, Fangraphs' playoff odds gave the Kansas City Royals a 1.7 percent chance to reach the postseason. After their loss to the Los Angeles Angels, the Royals' outlook doesn't seem much better.
The Royals are three games under .500 through their first 99 games, guaranteeing they will be below .500 through 100 games. Elias Sports Bureau research notes that they will be the third defending World Series champion in the past four seasons to be below .500 through 100 games.
Following Tuesday's defeat, the Royals are 3-8 in the second half. The only team with fewer second-half wins is the San Francisco Giants, who entered Tuesday with one win since the All-Star break.
The Royals lost 13-0, their worst shutout loss at home since 2002 (a 13-0 loss to the Orioles).
The primary problem for Kansas City has been pitching. In their 11 second-half games, they have a 5.75 ERA.
In fairness, it's not all on the pitching staff. The Royals' offense has scored 3.3 runs per game since the break compared to 4.0 runs prior.
It's time to sell
The Royals are three games under .500 for the first time since June 6, 2014 (they were 29-32 at that time).
With seven teams ahead of them in the wild-card standings and a 9.5-game deficit to the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central, the odds simply aren't in Kansas City's favor.
What they could move
The Royals' best bet in selling might be to trade Wade Davis. The closer has a $10 million team option for 2017 and is making $8 million this season. Since the beginning of 2014, Davis has a 0.99 ERA, lowest among relievers with at least 100 appearances in that time.
Along with Davis, the Royals could move Edinson Volquez and Kendrys Morales, each of whom have mutual options for 2017 that carry buyout clauses (Morales $1.5M, Volquez $3M). While both have low-cost contracts, neither has been able to reach even 1.0 WAR this season.