Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Danny Duffy (0-2, 4.11 ERA)
The Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals meet for the second of three games in this weekend series. The Royals struck first with an impressive performance by starting pitcher Jakob Junis. Junis was sharp with 5 hits and 2 earned runs conceded. The bullpen took care of the rest without allowing a run.
I don’t think the Twins came to play on Friday and the Royals were able to take advantage of the sloppy effort. An off day is expected for the best of teams, so hopefully that’s all it was for the Twins and they got it out of the way. It was only the fifth win of the season for the Royals. They move to 5-10 on the season with the win. Conversely, the Twins fell to 10-4.
The Twins are clear of the Chicago White Sox by two games in the AL Central. They’re the team to beat, but the White Sox have been regarded as a trendy pick in the division. I think the White Sox are certainly heading in the right direction, but might be a couple of years off from being a true contender. Their roster is slowly filling out and should be a threat soon. That’s not to say the White Sox can’t win the AL Central.
They are just two games back of the Twins with a record of 8-6 and this is a shortened season. In a full season, I could have seen the White Sox having a couple of really hot months, but sitting in neutral for a few other months. In a shortened 60-game season, a couple of hot months would be enough to go to the postseason. The Indians, Tigers, and White Sox are all within striking distance of the Twins.
The Twins are going to ease Jake Odorizzi back into the rotation on Saturday. He is coming off a back injury and will receive his first start of the season tonight. They are expected to be careful with him and put him on a pitch count of around 65-70 pitches. The Royals are expected to counter with Danny Duffy as their starting hurler. Head below for our free Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals pick for August 8, 2020.
Minnesota Twins vs. KC Royals MLB Baseball Betting Odds:
Minnesota Twins vs. KC Royals Prediction:
The Twins are hoping for the best from Jake Odorizzi, but they aren’t going to overwork him in his first outing. If the Twins see that Odorizzi is back to his normal form, then they’ll remove the training wheels and give him some more work. They need a healthy Odorizzi if they’re going to offer a major challenge in the playoffs to the competition. Getting Josh Donaldson’s bat back would help as well.
The 30-year-old Odorizzi recorded an ERA of 3.51 and 1.21 WHIP for the first season since 2016 with the Rays that he had an ERA under the 4.00 mark. He’s a career 3.88 pitcher. The Royals have done well against Odorizzi in past matchups. Note that the current roster is hitting .283 with 6 home runs and 18 runs scored against Odorizzi. Whit Merrifield has laid waste to Odorizzi. In 16 at-bats, Merrifield is hitting .500 with 3 long balls.
The good news for the Twins is that they’ve had success against Danny Duffy at the plate. Duffy has yielded 8 home runs and 27 runs against the Twins in 180 at-bats. The Twins are hitting .286 with a .353 OBP against Duffy. He can be a streaky pitcher, but the Twins have figured him out. Duffy enters today with an ERA of 4.11 and 0.91 WHIP.
He had command issues against the Tigers two games ago, yielding 3 hits and 4 earned runs in 5 innings. However, Duffy settled in nicely against the Cubs at Wrigley, allowing just 3 hits and 1 earned run in 6 innings. That’s Duffy in a nutshell. He can look like an ace one day and trash the next.
Minnesota has had no problems hitting Duffy, so I think it might be back to trash on Saturday. Calculating how Odorizzi is going to perform against hitters he’s traditionally struggled against, pushes me away from laying -157 on the visitors. In any event, expect a much better effort from the Twins at the plate at least. The OVER looks like the more attractive option at Kauffman Stadium.