We knew the Kansas City Royals weren’t going to go 162-0 this season, but we just didn’t know which game they were going to draw a blank in. Yesterday the Royals were issued their first loss with a 3-1 loss to the Twins. It was also only the 2nd win for the Twins on the year. So while the Royals lost yesterday, they are still in a much better position than the Twins are at. It appears that the only teams that are going to be able to compete with the Tigers will be the Royals and Twins in their division. It’ll probably be a Royals and Tigers race, but the Indians should hang around for some part of the year. We were able to pick up a win with the Indians yesterday, as Trevor Bauer took care of business and was able to get the 4-2 win for the Tribe over the White Sox. The Twins and White Sox can pretty well forget about getting to the top of this division, for this year at least. A smaller card for us today to pick from today and I’m going to go for another early afternoon winner.
The Royals will look to bounce back behind Jason Vargas. Vargas was a big plug in the rotation last season during their World Series run. I remember him starting the year off slow, but he quietly performed the rest of the way and most importantly in the playoffs. The Royals hope to get similar performances out of him the whole way this time around. This will be the second start for Vargas this season who did a good job in his first. Nothing to get overly excited about or disappointed. Twins’ starter, Tommy Milone had a start worth getting excited over, but it is only one start. Milone hasn’t yet had a year where he’s continually performed this well so indications are he won’t maintain that kind of play. He’ll look to give the Twins their third win of the year today against the Royals, who are coming off their first loss.
Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins
Jason Vargas (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Tommy Milone (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
I think the start Vargas had is pretty indicative of about what we’re going to see from him throughout the season. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he finishes with an ERA in the 3.00 to 3.50 range. Since the later part of last season he’s been fairly consistent overall in that respect. Conversely, what is there to make of Tommy Milone? He rolled through the opposition in his first start, allowing no runs and yielding a WHIP of only 0.50. This is Milone’s second stint with the Twins, as he comes over from the Oakland Athletics after an okay year for him. He had a 3.55 ERA and previous to then, Milone had a 7.55 ERA with the Twins. I expect some regression from Milone here. If this were a pitcher with consistent results as an ace it would be easier for me to say he’s going to have another big game. However, as it usually is with pitchers of Milone’s caliber, they play extremely well then look like a different guy in the next start.
Vargas picked up the win in his first start, where he pitched well with a 3.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Like I said, I feel more comfortable with what we are going to get from Vargas on the mound. I don’t trust Milone to be that strong again in consecutive starts against a very good team. The Royals still aren’t getting much respect. This is a short price that is a reflection of the start Milone had a few days ago and how no one is taking the Royals seriously yet. The Royals will continue to get prices that should be higher all year long. I had them at -130 but we are getting -116. I’ll take the Royals here early Thursday afternoon.
PICK: ROYALS TO WIN -116