The Kansas City Royals took advantage of a disinterested Twins’ bullpen on Saturday night, as they opened up a 12-5 lead in the top of the 9th inning. The Royals and Twins went into the 9th with a 5-5 score and went to the bottom of the 9th at 12-5. The Royals scored 7 runs against Trevor Hildenberger and Taylor Rogers.
Hildenberger didn’t record an out while allowing 4 runs and Rogers managed to notch just 1 out. That was the difference in the ball game, though it wasn’t like starter Jose Berrios churned in a productive night. Berrios, who has been one of the most reliable hurlers for the Twins, allowed 5 earned runs in 6 innings of work. That isn’t like Berrios and they are going to need him to be sharp in the postseason.
When it comes to their pitching, there isn’t going to be much room for error in October. I don’t think they have the horses to compete with a rotation like the Astros have, for instance. Offensively the Twins are capable of getting after it, but things change a lot when the postseason begins. Pitching ultimately becomes the gold standard of a World Series blueprint.
The Twins are close to clinching the AL Central and their magic number dropped despite losing last night. With the Indians losing their contest against the Phillies, the Twins are just four wins away from clinching the AL Central. Even though they lost, the Twins still get a win out of it with the loss by Cleveland.
Going into Monday with just three games to go would almost be a kill shot to the Indians. We’ll see how the Twins handle the Royals after the loss on Friday. They’ll send out Martin Perez for the start. The Royals are expected to go with Jorge Lopez in response. Head below for our free Royals vs. Twins pick.
K.C. Royals vs. Minnesota Twins Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The Royals will send out Jorge Lopez to see what he can do for them. This is an audition period for him in 2020. After getting little major league action in his first four years in the major leagues, the Royals have been utilizing him as more of a full-time member of their rotation. He has also gotten work out of the bullpen. Lopez has made 37 appearences in all, with 16 of them as a starter on the bump. This eclipses his workload in previous seasons considerably.
For the greater part of 2019, Lopez hasn’t made much of an impact. However, he has settled in nicely recently for one of his best stretches of the season. Lopez has posted an ERA of 2.08 and 1.10 WHIP in his last three starts. Considering how poorly things have gone for him, with an overall ERA of 5.93, the Royals have finally seen some positive stuff from him. Having said that, he hasn’t been consistent and two of those games was against the Marlins and White Sox.
Even if Lopez does well, the Royals still have to worry about their anemic bullpen. They rank 25th in the majors with an ERA of 5.06. Martin Perez has been in a bit of a funk and he hasn’t been stellar home, so the Royals might be able to get away with a win if the offense brings it in consecutive nights. Perez has been hittable at home with an ERA of 5.00 in 90 innings pitched. He’s also been shaky most recently, with a 5.17 ERA and 1.47 WHIP posted in his last three outings. A play on the OVER looks like the way to go in this spot on Sunday.