Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins Preview
Where: Target Field – Minneapolis, Minnesota
When: Monday, April 3, 2017, 4:10 PM ET
Line: Kansas City Royals (+102) vs. Minnesota Twins (-112) ; total: 8.0 – view all MLB lines
Writer’s Pick: Minnesota Twins (-112)
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Betting on the Kansas City Royals
Danny Duffy had an outstanding season for the Kansas City Royals in 2016. After starting the season in the bullpen, he eventually established himself as the Royals’ top starter. Duffy won 11 of his first 12 decisions, and went 12-3 overall with a 3.51 ERA.
Duffy faced the Minnesota Twins three times in the last month of last season. He was very good in his first start, going 6.2 with just one earned run as the Royals won, 2-1. However, he gave up seven runs (six earned) in the next 12.1 innings in his next two starts – both Royals losses. Since beating the Twins, the Royals went just 1-6 in his last seven starts, and he had a 6.37 ERA.
Duffy will need his lineup to help him end that slump. The Royals lost top home run threat Kendrys Morales (30 HR, 93 RBI) in free agency, and Brandon Moss (28 HR, 67 RBI) will take his spot as the designated hitter. Apart from him, though, the Royals offense that finished 13th in the AL in runs remains virtually intact.
The Royals feasted on the Twins last season, as they went 15-4 against them in their 19 meetings.
Betting on the Minnesota Twins
Ervin Santana was far and away the most productive pitcher in an otherwise horrid Twins rotation last season (5.39 ERA, last in MLB). The veteran righty went 7-11 with a 3.38 ERA, and finished with a 3.8 WAR. Kyle Gibson was the starter with the next-closest WAR at 0.6.
Santana saw quite a lot of the Royals last year – five times, to be exact. He was just 0-2 with a 4.55 ERA, and the Twins lost all five of his starts. Santana has a rotten record with the Royals in general. His teams are just 1-9 in 10 career starts dating back to his days in Los Angeles.
The Twins lineup still has a lot of pop with Brian Dozier (42 HR) and Miguel Sano (25), but Dozier has no homers and just two RBI in 32 career at-bats against Duffy. Meanwhile, the Twins bullpen – which finished last in the AL with a 4.63 ERA – is still not good and won’t be trusted with any lead Santana leaves.
Santana ends his losing skid against the Royals as the Twins (-112) take it, 5-4.
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