The bottom two teams of the American League Central division will open up a four-game series on Friday night at Target Field. Let’s find out if the Kansas City Royals can extend their current win streak to a season high-tying four games.
Royals have fallen
short in the Twin Cities recently
Kansas City is coming
off its first sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays since May 2001, but will have a hard
time carrying over that momentum due to falling short in 17 of its last 23
meetings in Minnesota. The Royals have dropped three of five overall
meetings this season. The club will open up an 11-game road trip on
Friday night, as Kauffman Stadium prepares to host the 2012 MLB All-Star Game
Duensing has solid
numbers in this series
Twins starting pitcher
Brian Duensing (1-3, 3.82 ERA) is set to make his 32nd appearance (second
start) of the 2012 MLB campaign, as he picked up a 6-0 road loss to the
Cincinnati Reds last time out, surrendering four runs and four hits over three
frames. In 17 career outings (seven starts) versus the Royals, the
left-hander has tallied an impressive 6-2 record and 2.98 ERA, including a 2-1
mark and 2.22 ERA in five appearances (four starts) in 2011. Duensing is
expected to be on a pitch count of around 75 pitches in this effort.
Luis Mendoza (2-4,
4.95 ERA) is searching for his first win since May 13, coming off an 8-2 home
loss to the St. Louis Cardinals last time out, allowing four runs and seven
hits over 4.1 innings. The Royals right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.67 ERA in
six road appearances (three starts), serving up just two home runs in 27
combined frames. He has failed to live up to expectations that were
placed on him during spring training, as he was named the Pacific Coast League
Pitcher of the Year in 2011. Mendoza’s only career appearance against the
Twins was a five-inning relief effort on June 6, giving up two runs and five
hits in five innings.
Off-day numbers favor
The Twins are
definitely the more veteran-laden ball club in this matchup, which gives them
an edge after both teams enjoyed an off day Thursday. Minnesota is 25-19
after a day of rest since the 2010 campaign, while Kansas City has fallen flat
in eight of 10 opportunities in this situation this year.
Series figures to be
Minnesota has compiled
a 16-12 record in one-run games this season, which could play an important role
in this affair, and the rest of the series. All five meetings between the
two teams in 2012 have been decided by three or fewer runs.
The current MLB
betting odds place the Royals in a bad spot situationally, as the club is 20-44
in its last 64 games as a road underdog of +110 to +150. The Twins have
won 14 of their last 15 games with tonight's starter on the mound as a home
favorite. I recommend adding Minnesota to you baseball picks in the series opener,
especially on the five-inning line due to Duensing's pitch count.
Pick: Minnesota Twins