Hector Santiago (10-6, 4.47 ERA) and Edinson Volquez (8-10, 5.03 ERA) take the hill in the last of a three-game series between the Minnesota Twins (47-70) and the Kansas City Royals (56-60) at Target Field. The Twins won the last game 5-3, and the series is currently tied 1-1. Action begins at 2:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 14 and can be seen on FSKC and FSN.
Santiago pitched 5.1 innings in his last outing, surrendering five runs (one unearned), striking out four and walking one in a 7-5 defeat to the Astros. Brian Dozier (.266, 69 Rs, 25 HRs, 69 RBIs, 8 SBs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 4 with two runs, one home run, and one RBI. Volquez went 6.0 innings, surrendering four runs, striking out two and walking one in a 7-5 defeat to the White Sox in his most recent start. Cheslor Cuthbert (.301, 34 Rs, 10 HRs, 37 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI.
Minnesota is a -130 favorite against Kansas City and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at nine runs. The Twins have an overall money line of -1,269 and a record as the favorite of 11-16. Minnesota has had a discouraging season against division opponents, earning records of 3-7 and 15-27 as the favorite and SU, respectively. The Twins have seen a decline in scoring against teams inside their division, averaging 4.1 runs per game. They average 4.6 runs per game on the season. The Twins are one of the best in the MLB in terms of extra base hits with 389. Minnesota is one of the best in the AL in terms of walks, earning an average of 3.1 per game. As for the pitchers, the Twins are the second-best team in the AL at limiting walks to their opponents, allowing only 2.6 walks per game so far this season.
Over in the other dugout, Kansas City is coming in with an overall money line of -90 and a disappointing record of 28-48 as the underdog. Despite an underwhelming record as the underdog against AL Central opponents (11-15), they pulled off an impressive 26-17 SU record. Offensively, the Royals have really picked up the pace in division games. They have exceeded their season average of 3.8 runs per game by averaging 4.7 in those contests. Kansas City is excellent at making contact with just 7.5 strikeouts per game, ranking fifth in the AL. Moving on to Kansas City's pitching staff and defense, the Royals allow just four runs per road game, ranking them fourth in the AL. The Royals have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an AL-best 7.8 strikeouts per road game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Royals have controlled the season series, 6-2. The Twins have a bad 16-30 record at home (32-55 overall) against right-handed starting pitchers, which is what they'll be facing when Volquez takes the mound. Santiago (LHP) will be on the hill against the Royals, who have a 12-15 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - MIN, O/U - Under
The Royals sit at 26-17 against the division, while the Twins are 15-27
When leading after seven innings, Minnesota is 26-27, while Kansas City is 22-29.
The Royals are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Twins have a 13-36 record when opponents give up two walks or less.
When they outhit their opponents, the Royals are 44-16. The Twins have a 34-7 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 28th in runs, Kansas City has earned 446 this season. Minnesota ranks 11th with 538 runs.
Ranking 30th, Kansas City is at the bottom of the league in walks, notching 261 this season. Minnesota ranks in the top half at 12th with 367.
When the Twins hit at least one home run, they are 39-37, well-matched with the Royals who are 38-33 when hitting one or more homers.