September was supposed to be an interesting month for the Minnesota Twins. This was back in April, though, when the Twins figured to be a contender in the American League Central. The perception then was that the Indians have a threat to worry about in the division. The Tigers, White Sox, Royals a big no, but the Twins were coming off an appearance in the postseason as a wildcard, and they added Lance Lynn in the offseason.
There were expectations that they would be ready to make the next jump over the Indians. Now that September is here, it’s all pretty laughable that anyone was considering that scenario unfolding. Instead, the Twins are 15 games behind the Indians and the Tribe have been able to sleepwalk through the division. I don’t know if that’s for better or worse. They haven’t been battle tested at all, while other teams are playing important baseball all month. They’re going to go from 0 to 100 quick.
The Twins have been frustrating the Yankees recently, though. They beat the Yanks, 10-5, and then a dominant performance by Jake Odorizzi paced the Twins to a 3-1 win. Odorizzi had a no-hitter going, but he exited the game with just 1 hit allowed across 7.1 innings of work. The Twins will look for three wins in a row in Kansas City tonight.
It’s a little too late to put something together, but I suppose it’s a good sign they aren’t giving up in what has otherwise been a tough year in Minnesota. Perhaps the Vikings will give fans in the city something to be proud of. The Twins will go with rookie Stephen Gonsalves who is looking to salvage his season late. There hasn’t been anything for him to get excited about in his first four major league starts. The Royals will counter with their own rookie, Heath Fillmyer. Head below for our free Twins vs. Royals pick below.
Minnesota Twins vs. K.C. Royals Pick
Stephen Gonsalves (0-2, 11.68 ERA) vs. Heath Fillmyer (2-1, 4.75 ERA)
Everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong for Gonsalves as the Twins give him some work late in the season. The rookie has made just four starts in his career and it’s been anything but a kind welcome to the majors. Gonsalves enters with an ERA of 11.68 following 11 innings of work on the mound. He lasted just 2.1 innings in his last outing, which came against the Kansas City Royals.
He gave up 5 hits, 5 runs, and 3 walks with an average of 22.3 pitches per inning. The Royals are hitting .455 with a .571 against Gonsalves. It was the third instance in four starts that he allowed 4 or more runs this season. Along with a lackluster ERA of 11.68, Gonsalves holds a 3.00 WHIP and .528 OBA. In other words, on average, he’s been loading the bases.
Fillmyer has made ten starts for the Royals as a rookie. Compared to Gonsalves, he looks like a Cy Young candidate on the bump. He enters with an ERA of 4.75, 1.48 WHIP, and .351 OBA in 60.2 innings. Fillmyer is coming off a horrendous start against this Twins team. He lasted just 2.1 innings while allowing 6 hits, 3 walks, and 6 runs. It’s the second time in less than a month that he’s been hit for 6 runs in a start. The Royals’ bullpen ranks amongst one of the worst in baseball, with an ERA of 5.16 for 29th in the majors. Minnesota doesn’t fair much better, with a 4.63 ERA for 24th. The OVER looks like a good bet in this spot in Kansas City on Thursday night.