Monday night baseball and we will see the Kansas City Royals travel to Target Field to take on the Minnesota Twins. Free Pick to follow. First pitch is scheduled for a 8:10 PM (Eastern) start time and the game will be televised on the locally.
Kansas City +100
Over/ Under: 8.5 U -120
This is game 1 of a 3 game series between these American League Central foes. The Kansas City Royals are not playing good ball at the moment as they come in having won just 3 of their last 12 games. The Royals are now 31-23 on the year and 1 game behind division leading Minnesota in the AL Central. The Twins have been a mediocre 5-5 in their last 10 games but still it was good enough to overtake the Royals for first place in the AL Central.
The Royals rank 8th in scoring (4.39 rpg), 4th in hitting (.271) and 26th in homers (40), while on the mound they are 6th in ERA (3.49) and 8th in WHIP (1.22). The Royals are 37-16 in their last 53 during game 1 of a series and 23-11 in their last 34 games as an underdog, but just 1-5 in Vargas' last 6 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance.
Minnesota ranks 7th in scoring (4.41 rpg), 14th in hitting (.253) and 24th in homers (44), while on the mound they are 14th in ERA (3.84) and 21st in WHIP (1.32). The Twins are 14-5 in their last 19 home games and 13-3 in their last 16 games vs. a left-handed starter, but just 1-5 in Hughes' last 6 starts vs. the American League Central.
Getting the ball for the Royals tonight will be Jason Vargas who has gone 4-2 with a 4.79 ERA in 7 starts this year, while on the road he is 2-2 with 5.00 ERA in 4 starts. Jason has gone 5-4 with a 4.25 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) vs the Twins in his career, while at Target Field he is 3-3 with a 5.48 ERA in 8 starts.
Taking the hill for Minnesota tonight will be Phil Hughes, who has gone 4-5 with a 4.96 ERA in 11 starts this year, while at home he is 2-1 with a high 5.17 ERA. Phil has gone 7-4 with a 5.06 ERA in 13 career games (12 starts) vs the Royals.
Pick: Going with the Royals, who gt a big win yesterday vs Texas and I expect them to use the momentum from that win in this game. Vargas is the better starter here and the Twins are due to regress some. I look for the Royals to have an overall good series vs the Twins and it starts with a nice win tonight.
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MLB Pitching Stats: DBF, Difficulty of Batters Faced
Pro handicappers Teddy Covers and Steve Fezzik talk about the difference between lazy stats and legit stats, telling you what you need to know about DBF or Difficulty of Batters Faced. This stat is a favorite among sabremetrics followers, who prefer this over stats looking at how a pitcher does versus a team when the team's rotation is constantly changing. Teddy sees the value in DBF, while Fezzik thinks some of the worst DBF performers like AJ Burnett are actually some of the best pitchers in baseball.