Twins at Royals Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 8/5/2013
I believe this is a first this season: previewing a game involving the Minnesota Twins. However, the Twins aren't going to the postseason this year again. They might be good in two years as they have one of the best farm systems in baseball. Right now, though, it's pretty faceless team outside of Joe Mauer. No, this story is about the Kansas City Royals, as they look to finish with their first winning record since 2003 and first playoff trip since 1985. Wouldn't it be great to see the Royals and Pirates in the postseason? Pittsburgh is the Kansas City of the NL.
I absolutely believe the Royals made a mistake in trading Wil Myers to the Rays for James Shields, but it was clear ownership wanted to win now. That Royals farm system had been applauded the past several years but it largely wasn't showing much at the major-league level. Kansas City could really use Myers, the AL Rookie of the Year favorite, as the Royals are 23rd in runs and 28th in slugging entering Sunday's series finale against the Mets. Pitching has been carrying the team and certainly Shields, the key piece in that Myers trade, has been a big reason why.
I was a tad surprised the Royals weren't a bit more active at the trade deadline in adding a bat. They did trade a prospect to Houston for outfielder Justin Maxwell. He's really nothing more than a platoon guy but did hit a game-winning homer in the 12th inning on Saturday in New York. He became the fifth player in Royals history whose first home run for the team gave them a lead in extra innings. The Twins also made a minor trade, literally, sending minor-league catcher Drew Butera to the Dodgers. Why the Twins didn't send first baseman Justin Morneau somewhere is baffling -- maybe he goes in a waiver deal. The 2006 AL MVP is a shell of his former self, hitting just .265 with nine homers. His contract is up after the year and he's unlikely to be back. He'd still bring something in trade -- the Yankees, for example, could use him.
Monday's game is the opener of a 10-game homestand for Kansas City. It's the first of seven on the road for the Twins.
Twins at Royals Betting Story Lines
Kansas City has won 10 of 11 entering Sunday's series finale with the Mets to climb within 4.5 games of the second wild-card spot. It's probably unrealistic to catch the Tigers in the AL Central. The Royals will be without one of the best young catchers in baseball as Salvador Perez has a concussion. He took a foul ball in the mask on Saturday. Perez, an All-Star, is hitting.278 with four home runs and 43 RBI. He's out all next week.
The Twins start right-hander Kevin Correia (7-7, 4.49) in this one. HIs last start was against Kansas City on July 31 and he allowed two runs and 10 hits over six innings in a no-decision. The Royals won the game 4-3. Correia is 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in three starts against Kansas City this year. He has been terrible on the road, going 2-6 with a 6.11 ERA. Nary a current Royal has a homer off Correia.. Star Alex Gordon is 2-for-9 off him. Mike Moustakas is 3-for-9. 120-year-old Miguel Tejada (I kid) is 4-for-10 with two RBI in his career off Corrreia.
Kansas City counters with righty Jeremy Guthrie (11-7, 4.22). He also pitched in that July 31 game, allowing two runs and six hits in six innings in tying his career high with that 11th win. He has won four of his past five starts and is 3-1 with a 3.24 ERA in four 2013 starts against the Twins. Morneau and Mauer eat Guthrie up. The former is hitting .360 with two homers and six RBI career off Guthrie, while the latter is at .333 with two homers and three RBI. The Twins remain without productive outfielder Josh Willingham. He hasn't played since June 30 and had surgery to fix his torn left meniscus. He's not expected to play in this series but should return sometime this week.
Twins at Royals Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, Kansas City opened at -168 and Minnesota at +158 with a total of 8.5. All trends entering Sunday: The Twins are 47-58-2 over/under (21-32-2 on road) and 60-47 on the runline. The Royals are 47-58-2 O/U (26-26 at home) and 60-47 on the runline.
Minnesota is 4-9 in its past 13 Monday games. The Twins are 4-13 in their past 17 road games against teams with a winning record. Minnesota is 0-4 in Correia's past four road starts. The Royals are 6-0 in their past six against the AL Central. They are 15-2 in Guthrie's past 17 at home. Kansas City is 2-5 in Guthrie's past seven against teams with a losing record. The under is 9-2 in Minnesota's past 11 against teams with a winning record. The under is 7-0 in Correia's past seven against teams with a winning record. The under is 13-6 in Guthrie's past 19 against the AL Central. Minnesota is 1-6 in the past seven in K.C.
Twins at Royals Picks and Betting Predictions
If you want to have a shot at the playoffs, you have to beat the lousy teams like a Minnesota. The Royals know this is a great opportunity. And they have dominated the season series, winning 10 of 13. I see no reason why that doesn't continue. Take K.C., also on the runline (+120), and the under.
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