The Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals meet up tonight for the first game of their four-game series. The Twins are counting down the days until the season is over, and the Royals need a monster run to make the postseason. The Royals have suffered a big setback after winning the World Series in 2015. You can’t take anything away from a champion, so there isn’t much that can be said that is bad about the Royals. The Mike Moustakas injury really put a wrench before the season even really began. Moose tore his ACL all the way back in May, spelling the end in 2016 for him. He doesn’t have the brand name as say a Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout, but his impact on the Royals should not be underestimated. Not only is he a good player, he is also a leader of the clubhouse. We’re not going to say that all of the Royals’ problems are because Moustakas is absent, but it’s certainly played a role.
The pitching hasn’t been as good for the Royals this season as well. There were a couple pitchers who stepped it up huge during the Royals’ chase to the World Series. However, this has yet to be seen from this Royals team. Dillon Gee gets the call for the Royals tonight, and he has been anything but stepping it up. The Royals have been trying to get going though lately, as they have won four games in a row, and are 8-2 in their last ten games. With the month of August winding down, they’re going to need more of that in September. The Royals are lucky to draw an inferior opponent this weekend, which should bolster their chance at jumping into the hunt. These are the kind of series that the Royals need to bury the opposition and take three or even sweep a bad team like the Twins. It’s up to Gee on Thursday for the first game of this series.
Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals
Tyler Duffey (8-8, 5.71 ERA) vs. Dillon Gee (4-6, 4.78 ERA)
Gee, after spending six years with the Mets in New York, hasn’t been a pitcher that has risen up to the occasion with the Royals. However, he’s been pitching par for the course, so to speak. A 4.78 ERA is pretty well what to expect from Gee. In his last three years with the Mets, he yielded a 3.62 ERA in 2013, 4.00 ERA in 2014, and a 5.90 ERA, for an average of 4.50. I like vanilla ice cream, but not so much when it comes to vanilla pitchers in baseball. Gee appeared in relief against the White Sox on the 10th and got rocked in his next start on the 13th, allowing 5 runs and 11 hits across only 5 innings of work. Throwing a pitcher out of his routine can do a lot of harm and it appears it didn’t help any for him against the Twins. Gee will get another shot at the Twins tonight.
Likewise, Duffey has a recent start against the Royals. He did better, allowing 2 runs and 6 hits across 7 innings. Duffey has looked like a much better pitcher in his last two starts, giving up only 3 runs in total.
Prior to that he surrendered 4, 6, 5, and 5 runs, so yeah, needless to say he’s been doing better. But can he sustain this nice little run of success he has going on? Doing it once is good, but twice against the same team is a little more difficult. Notably, a team you just faced a few days ago. Both offenses already had a good look at these pitchers not too long ago. I suspect that one of them is going to get hammered hard. It’s hard to say who, though. Consequently, a play on the OVER in this contest looks like a quality bet for Thursday night.
PICK: OVER 9 RUNS (-110)