Dillon Gee (4-6, 4.78 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals (60-60) meet Tyler Duffey (8-8, 5.71 ERA) and the Minnesota Twins (49-71) in the first of a four-game division series at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium. The game gets underway at 8:15 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 18 and will air on FSKC and FSN.
In his most recent outing, Gee pitched 5.1 innings, allowing five runs, striking out six and walking one in a 5-3 loss to the Twins. Eric Hosmer (.274, 57 Rs, 17 HRs, 69 RBIs, 5 SBs) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 3 with one run, one home run, and two RBIs. The Twins were victorious over the Royals 5-3 the last time Duffey pitched. He went 7.0 innings, giving up two runs, striking out six and walking one. Brian Dozier (.267, 72 Rs, 26 HRs, 72 RBIs, 8 SBs) has been doing well offensively for the Twins, going 2 for 5 yesterday with two runs and two RBIs.
Kansas City is a slight -110 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at nine runs. The Royals have a winning record of 28-12 when playing as the favorite and an overall money line of +337. They are 8-2 SU and perfect as the favorite (2-0) in their last 10 games. Kansas City has averaged 5.1 runs per game over the last 10 games, higher than its season average of 3.9. The Royals rank fifth in the AL in hits with 9.0 per game. Don't expect the Kansas City hitters to swing wildly. They average only 7.4 strikeouts per game. Kansas City's pitching staff has put it all together in the past 10 games. Its average runs allowed per game dropped to 2.6 during that span, compared to its 4.3 season average.
Across the field, the Twins have a record of 37-54 when they are the underdog and are -1,182 overall with the money line. Against fellow AL Central members, they are 15-28 SU and have played poorly as the underdog with a 12-20 record. When it comes to scoring, the Twins haven't performed as well against teams from the AL Central. During those games, they averaged four runs per game, below their 4.6 runs per game season average. The Twins average 3.1 walks per game, making them one of the most disciplined teams in the AL. Shifting to the pitching staff, they allow just 2.6 walks per game, good for second in the AL.
The Royals have gotten the best of the Twins in head-to-head matchups this season, going 7-2. The Royals will take on a right-hander (Duffey) in this game and have a 46-45 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. Taking the hill against the Twins will be the right-hander Gee. They sport a 34-56 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Under
The Royals sit at 30-17 against the division, while the Twins are struggling at 15-28.
Kansas City has won 45% (24-29) of its games when leading after seven innings. However, Minnesota has won 50% (27-27) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Twins are coming into this meeting after a high-scoring game where they scored an impressive 10 runs. The Royals have a 0-8 record when opponents score that many runs or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Royals are 48-16. The Twins have a 36-7 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 27th, Kansas City is near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 470 this season. Minnesota ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 556.
Ranking 30th, Kansas City is at the bottom of the league in walks, notching 273 this season. Minnesota ranks in the top half at 12th with 384.
When the Royals hit at least one home run, they are 41-33, well-matched with the Twins who are 40-38 when hitting one or more homers.