Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins Pick 8/14/20
Kansas City Royals (8-11) vs. Minnesota Twins (12-7)
When: 8:10 p.m., Friday, August 14
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis
Moneyline: KC +150/MIN -170 (Find Dimelines)
Runline: Royals +1.5/Twins -1.5
Starting Pitchers: Jakob Junis (0-0, 4.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP) vs. Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 6.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP)
Back in the Battle
Don’t look now, but the Royals are showing signs of life in the AL Central. Kansas City appeared well on its way to a lost season when it started the year 3-10, but the Royals have battled back nicely by winning five of their past six to make themselves a factor again. What’s made the surge more impressive is that Kansas City hasn’t been favored even once in its previous 12 games.
That didn’t stop the Royals from pulling off a sweep of the presumptive AL Central champion Twins, who got held to just two runs in two out of three games at Kansas City. In fact, we’ve seen both pitchers in action against the opposing lineup, and Jakob Junis actually looked pretty good against Minnesota, scattering five hits and allowing two runs in 4.2 innings of work. For his career, Junis has done reasonably well against the Twins, as his ERA against the Twins is 4.32, about a third of a run lower than his career ERA.
The other things that have made the Royals dangerous as of late are that they’re hitting the ball well and cashing in on their chances. Over the past six games, Kansas City has plated at least four runs five times, and the Royals hit a respectable .255 as a team. This squad is better than people think, and the Twins and the Cubs have both fallen victim to underestimating KC.
Last year, having Jake Odorizzi on the mound was a major plus for Twins fans and bettors. However, Odorizzi really isn’t quite the same pitcher that he was last year as he tries to get back into game shape. He couldn’t go longer than three innings against Kansas City during the teams’ first meeting, and he wasn’t that effective when he was pitching, as he allowed two runs to score and six men to reach base in a 9-6 loss.
Expect the Twins to be again strict with how many pitches they allow Odorizzi to throw. For one, he’s coming off a back injury, and the Twins have absolutely no desire or need to rush him back to the mound. For another, Odorizzi is a heck of a lot more valuable to Minnesota over the long term than the short term. The 30-year-old should be fine for a while as long as he makes a full recovery, and Minnesota doesn’t really need Odorizzi this year anyway. Having him is better than not having him, but with the playoff format being what it is, the Twins will almost certainly qualify this year. They can afford to wait and not let the result of one game worry them for the rest of the season.
I’ve become a big fan of jumping on early totals because I think they’re a lot more reliable than trusting the bullpen of many teams. For this one, I think taking the under for the first five innings is a wise move. Odorizzi should be better than he was last time out, and Junis has a real history of pitching reasonably well against the Dodgers. Because of that, I think a total of 5.5 runs through the first five innings is a very reasonable under bet. I think the number is a tad too high, and I’d go ahead and jump on it now.
More Picks: Dodgers vs. Angels
- The Royals have won their past four against opponents who scored five or more runs the previous day.
- The Royals have won five of their past six overall.
- The Twins have won five straight at home.
- The Twins are 2-5 in their past seven games.
- The under is 11-5 in the Royals’ last 16 games against the AL Central.
- The under is 10-1 in the Royals’ past 11 Friday games.
- The under is 5-1 in the teams’ previous six meetings.
- The Twins have won 22 of the past 29 meetings in Minnesota.
It should be a great night for baseball in Minneapolis, with temperatures at 73 degrees and just a few clouds in the sky.
Getting home just might do the trick for Minnesota, but I’m not ready to trust the Twins with Odorizzi again likely to be on a strict pitch count and unlikely to make it through five innings. For me, this is the perfect time to take a shot with Kansas City, especially with the Royals playing very well right now and coming off three previous wins over Minnesota. Give me the Royals here. Bet this week’s MLB picks for FREE by taking advantage of a killer 100% REAL CASH bonus offer where you can deposit anywhere from $100 to $300 and get a dollar for dollar match added to your account! Find this sweet offer at MyBookie! (Must use bonus code PREDICT100)
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