Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 4.74 ERA) and Ian Kennedy (4-3, 3.24 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Minnesota Twins (11-32) and the Kansas City Royals (22-21) at Target Field. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Monday, May. 23 and can be seen on FSKC and FSN.
Nolasco pitched 5.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering four runs (two unearned), striking out six and walking one in a 6-3 defeat to the Tigers. Kennedy went 5.2 innings, surrendering two runs, striking out nine and walking one in a 3-2 win over the Red Sox in his most recent start. Eric Hosmer (.311, 22 Rs, 8 HRs, 21 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run.
The Royals are a -125 road favorite for this AL Central showdown with a total of 8.5.
Pick - KC
The Royals sit at 8-4 against the division, while the Twins are 4-17
Minnesota has won 25% (4-12) of its games when leading after seven innings. However, Kansas City has won 50% (9-9) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Royals managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Twins who are heading in with a 5-6 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Twins are 7-5. The Royals have a 16-8 record when outhitting opponents.
Tied at 27th for total runs, Minnesota and Kansas City have each notched 152 runs this season.
Minnesota and Kansas City both rank near the bottom of the league for their on-base plus slugging percentage. Minnesota sits at 27th with an OPS of .668, and Kansas City ranks 23rd with an OPS of .693.
The Royals are 11-15 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Twins are 8-25 when they allow at least one homer.