Yordano Ventura (13-10, 4.35 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals (1-1) square off against Ervin Santana (0-0, 0.00 ERA) and the Minnesota Twins (0-3) in the first of a three-game division series at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium. The game begins at 8:15 p.m. ET on Friday, Apr. 8 and will air on FSKC and FSN.
Ventura will take the hill after pitching 184.1 innings last season, finishing 13-10 with a 4.35 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and 178 strikeouts. Alcides Escobar (.250 ) went 1 for 4 Tuesday. The Twins were unsuccessful the last time Santana pitched. He tossed 2.0 innings, giving up zero runs, striking out three and walking two in a 3-2 loss to the Orioles. Joe Mauer (.364 ) has been hitting the ball well to start the season for the Twins, going 2 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI.
Oddsmakers have deemed this game a Royals -160 matchup and the Over/Under (O/U) is currently 7.5. The Royals are a nightmare on the bases for opponents with two steals, one of the highest totals in baseball. Transitioning to the Kansas City defense and pitching staff, it's been a struggle for opposing teams to score runs against the Royals. The 0.0 runs that Kansas City's pitchers allow per game makes them the fifth-ranked staff in the AL. The Royals are the fifth-best team in the AL at limiting hits to their opponents, allowing only 6.5 hits per game so far this season.
Minnesota is one of the top hitting teams in the league with zero extra base hits. Opposing pitchers have routinely struggled to strike out the Minnesota batters, who rank second in the AL with 11.7 strikeouts per game.
Predictions: SU Winner - MIN
When Minnesota is in the lead after the 7th inning, the team has a 0-2 record.
When outhit, both the Royals and the Twins have records of 0-1.
Kansas City ranks near the bottom of the league when it comes to home runs, hitting zero this season. Minnesota ranks in the bottom half at 19th with two.
Kansas City and Minnesota both rank near the bottom of the league in hits. Kansas City sits at 25th with 6.00 hits per game and Minnesota ranks 21st with 7.00.
Both Kansas City and Minnesota are tied at first for their on-base plus slugging percentage of .000.