Jason Vargas (4-2, 4.79 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals (31-23) are in Minnesota to meet Phil Hughes (4-5, 4.96 ERA) and the Twins (33-23) in a game that could have plenty of offense. This is the first of a three-game series at Target Field. The game gets underway at 8:10 p.m. ET on Monday, Jun. 8 and will air on FSN-KC and FSN-N.
Hughes is 7-4 with a 5.06 ERA against the Royals in his career, and faces a strong Kansas City offense that's hitting .271 on the year. Brian Dozier (.267, 47 Rs, 11 HRs, 28 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday. In his pitching opportunities against the Twins, Vargas is 5-4 with a 4.25 ERA, 44 strikeouts and 26 walks. Kendrys Morales (.293, 32 Rs, 6 HRs, 39 RBIs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one RBI.
Minnesota is a slight -110 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is eight runs. When playing as the favorite, the Twins have a 6-5 record and overall money line at +1,554. They have struggled as the favorite over their last 10 games, going 0-3. The Twins don't give up many walks to opposing batters, leading the AL with only 2.3 walks allowed per game.
On the other side, the Royals have a record of 14-10 when they are the underdog and are +518 overall with the money line. Over the past 10 matchups, they are 2-8 SU and have played poorly as the underdog with a 2-5 record. During the last 10 games, they averaged 2.2 runs per game, below their 4.4 season average. Kansas City is one of the top hitting teams in the AL with an average of 9.2 hits per contest. Opposing pitchers have routinely struggled to strike out the Kansas City batters, who average an AL-low 5.9 strikeouts per game. Kansas City's pitching staff has allowed an average of 4.7 runs per game during the last 10 games, higher than their season average of 3.6.
The Twins will take on a left-hander (Vargas) in this game. They have done very well against left-handed starting pitchers this season (15-7), especially at home where they have a 7-3 record. The right-handed Hughes will take the mound against the Royals, who have a 20-16 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Over
The Twins hold a 16-15 record this season against teams in the AL Central Division. The Royals' record in these matchups is 16-12.
After last game's shutout win against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Twins now have six shutouts this season. The Royals have been shut out in three games this season.
The Twins and the Royals are both 3-1 in games that go into extra innings.
The Royals are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Twins have a 16-20 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Royals are 27-4. The Twins have a 22-0 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 16th in runs, Kansas City has earned 237 this season. Minnesota ranks eighth with 247 runs.
Ranking 30th, Kansas City is at the bottom of the league in walks, notching 112 this season. Minnesota ranks near the bottom at 24th with 134.
When the Twins hit at least one home run, they are 25-7. When the Royals hit at least one homer, they have a 20-10 record.