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The Kansas City Royals host the Minnesota Twins Thursday in the first game of a four-game series. The Twins are 48-24, not counting Wednesday game against the Red Sox. The Royals are 25-48 and have the worst record in the AL Central. Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (10-2) gets the start for the Twins while right-hander Glenn Sparkman (1-3) gets the start for the Royals. Game time is 8:10 p.m. ET at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Twins have AL’s best record
The Minnesota Twins own the best record in the American League at 48-24. It’s really been a remarkable season thus far. They are coming off a series where they split the first two games against the defending world series champion Red Sox. They beat the Sox 4-3 on Tuesday thanks to a strong performance by Michael Pineda. Pineda gave up just 1 run in 6 innings and the bullpen did its job in the 17 innings instant classic. An RBI single by Max Kepler in the bottom of the 17th gave Minnesota the walk-off win. They used 9 pitchers with Zack Littel (1-0) getting the win. Kepler went 3 for 5 with a home run and 3 RBIs, while Eddie Rosario went 4 for 8.
.@Twins OF Max Kepler wasn’t supposed to play today, but he went on to tie the game in the 13th — and win it in the 17th!@MarneyGellner caught up with the man of the, uh, morning: pic.twitter.com/1L6nkFtHiw
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) June 19, 2019
The Twins are the best hitting team in the Majors. They average 5.8 runs per game, which is 1st in the Majors. They hit .272 as a team, which is also first, and they have a slugging percentage of .507, which, yes, is first. Oh yeah, they are first in home runs, too. Jorge Polanco leads the Twins hitting .326 with 10 HRs and 37 RBIs. He’s 7th in the majors in batting. Eddie Rosario is batting .265 with 19 HRs and 52 RBIs. CJ Cron is batting .277 with 15 HRs and 47 RBIs, while Jonathan Schoop is batting .258 with 12 HRs and 33 RBIs. Two of their best hitters. Mitch Garver is batting .301 with 11 HRs and 28 RBIs while Nelson Cruz is hitting .278 with 13 HRs and 34 RBIs. Also, Kepler is hitting .279 with 18 HRs and 49 RBIs.
The Twins pitching is very good, too. They have a team ERA of 3.87, which is 5th in the league. They have a team WHIP of 1.25, which is also 7th. Jake Odorizzi gets the start for Minnesota on Thursday. The right-hander is 10-2 on the year with an ERA of 2.24. He has been one of the best pitchers in baseball. He’s first in the majors in wins and 4th in ERA.
Royals win third straight
The Kansas City Royals have the second worst record in baseball at 25-48, not counting Wednesday’s game at Seattle. Things about to get much tougher as they face the Twins, the team with the best record in the league. But they have been on a roll as of late, winning three straight not counting Wednesday’s game. They beat these same Twins on Sunday and then won 2 in a row at Seattle. They beat Seattle Tuesday 9-0 behind Homer Bailey (6-6) who allowed 0 runs in 7.2 innings. Whit Merrifield had a monster game, going 3 for 4 with 2 HRs and 6 RBIs. Nicky Lopez had 3 hits and Jorge Soler added a home run.
The Royals offense has largely sputtered, despite this recent surge. They averaging 4.2 runs per game, which is 25th in the majors. They are batting .244 as a team, which is 19th in the league, and are 22nd in slugging percentage at .405. which is 27th in the league. Whit Merrifield leads the team with an average of .306 with 10 HRs and 39 RBIs. Alex Gordon is hitting .265 with 10 HRs and 41 RBIs, while Adalberto Mondesi is batting .269 with 6 HRs and 44 RBIs. Also, Jorge Soler is batting .245 with a team-high 20 HRs and 52 RBIs. Hunter Dozier is on the IL and Mondesi is questionable.
- Royals are 16-35 in their last 51 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Royals are 4-9 in their last 13 vs. American League Central.
- Royals are 17-41 in their last 58 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15.
- Royals are 4-10 in their last 14 home games.
- Royals are 12-50 in their last 62 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Royals are 4-22 in their last 26 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- Twins are 5-1 in their last 6 Thursday games.
- Twins are 9-2 in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
- Twins are 5-2 in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400.
- Twins are 5-0 in Odorizzi’s last 5 road starts.
- Twins are 4-0 in Odorizzi’s last 4 starts during game 1 of a series.
- Twins are 4-0 in Odorizzi’s last 4 starts vs. American League Central.
- Twins are 4-0 in Odorizzi’s last 4 starts with 4 days of rest.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Take the Twins here. This is an absolute no-brainer. This is not a good spot for the poor Royals. While they have been on a decent run as of late, and they took 1 of 3 from the Twins last weekend, it ends here. They are in a no-win situation here facing the best pitcher in baseball in Jake Odorizzi. The Twins are 5-1 in the last 6 meetings and they will make it 6-1 after Thursday.
Prediction: Minnesota -171
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the under. Look for the Twins to pound Sparkman and easily score their average 6 runs. But I still like the under because I think Odorizzi will shut down the Royals and hold them to 1 or 2 runs. The under is 3-1-1 in Twins last 5 overall and 7-2-1 in Odorizzis last 10 starts vs. the American League Central. Also, the under is 5-2-1 in Royals last 8 vs. the American League Central.