Chris Young (7-3, 2.71 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals (44-31) take on Kyle Gibson (5-6, 3.30 ERA) and the Minnesota Twins (41-37) in a game that has the potential to be low scoring. This is the first of a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jul. 2 and can be seen on FSN-N and FSN-KC.
Young is 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 22 strikeouts against the Twins. Lorenzo Cain (.299, 45 Rs, 6 HRs, 33 RBIs, 15 SBs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run. Gibson is 4-2 with a 2.68 ERA against the Royals in his career. He is up against a good Kansas City offense that's batting .271. Brian Dozier (.268, 61 Rs, 16 HRs, 40 RBIs, 7 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run.
Kansas City is a -159 favorite against Minnesota and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Royals have recorded an overall money line of +1,309 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 24-15. Kansas City has had an impressive season against division opponents, earning 11-6 and 19-12 records as the favorite and SU respectively. The Royals have seen an uptick in scoring against teams inside their division, averaging 4.7 runs per game. They average 4.3 runs per game on the season. The Royals are one of the best in the AL in terms of hits with an impressive 9.3 per game. Kansas City strikes out the least of any team in the AL, with only 5.9 per game. Turning to the pitching and defensive side, it's been a struggle for opposing teams to score runs against the Royals. The 3.4 runs that Kansas City's pitchers allow per home game makes them the top AL staff at home. The Royals are the fifth-best team in the AL at limiting walks during home games, allowing only 2.7 walks per game to their opponents this season.
In games where it is the underdog, Minnesota has a 34-30 record and an overall money line of +1,153. They are 15-16 as the underdog against AL Central rivals, and 18-19 SU. When it comes to issuing walks, the Twins have the fewest in the AL with only 2.4 walks allowed per game.
The Royals lead the season series, 6-3. The Royals have a great 16-8 record at home (32-17 overall) against right-handed starting pitchers, which is what they'll be facing when Gibson takes the mound. Young (RHP) will be on the hill against the Twins, who have a 23-27 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Over
The Royals hold a 19-12 record in matchups against AL Central rivals, while the Twins currently sit at 18-19 in these games.
Minnesota has won 43% (12-16) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Kansas City has won 66% (19-10) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Royals are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Twins have a 19-28 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Royals are 3-25. The Twins have a 7-34 record when opponents outhit them.
Kansas City and Minnesota both rank near the bottom of the league in home runs. Kansas City sits at 27th with 57 home runs this season and Minnesota ranks 23rd with 64.
Ranking 10th, Minnesota is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.39 per game. Kansas City ranks in the top five at second with 9.26.
Ranking 20th, Minnesota is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.692). Kansas City ranks in the top half at 11th with an OPS of .725.
The Twins are 23-26 when they allow at least one home run. The Royals perform similarly when they allow one or more homers with an 18-23 record.