Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 8/18/14
Kansas City Royals (68-55) at Minnesota Twins (55-67)
MLB Baseball: Monday, August 18, 2014 at 8:10 pm (Target Field)
Jason Vargas (L) (9-5) (3.453) vs. Trevor May (R) (0-1) (18.000)
The Line: Minnesota Twins +138 / Kansas City Royals -148 --- Over/Under: 8.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: FSKC, FSN
The Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals conclude their four game AL Central series on Monday night.
The Kansas City Royals have no plans to vacate first place in the AL Central, as yesterday afternoon’s 12-6 win bought them a 1.5 game cushion as the Tigers were stomped by the Mariners. The Royals are now 13-3 in the month of August as both the bats and arms are pulling together simultaneously. In yesterday’s win, the Royals put the game away early with a seven run second inning without any hits for extra bases. The extra base hits would eventually come later for Kansas City though as Alex Gordon hit a two run homer, Salvador Perez tripled and homered, and Josh Willingham had a double and hit his first home run with the Royals in the stadium of his former team.
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Jason Vargas will take the mound for the Royals on Monday coming off a complete game three hit shutout against the A’s in his latest start. Vargas has been solid this season as he enters this game with a WHIP of 1.20, ERA of 3.27 and record of 9-5. In three starts against the Twins, Vargas has pitched seven innings each time, twice pitching shutouts and once allowing two earned runs for a 0.86 ERA. Vargas has also pitched better on the road this season with a 2.13 ERA across ten starts away from home.
The Minnesota Twins are just 12-17 in the second half of the season; after hovering around the .500 mark in late May and early June, the team’s true colors have shown through as the season has dragged on as the pitching staff ranks 26th in ERA. In yesterday’s loss, pitching was again a problem as Tommy Milone allowed seven runs (six earned) on four hits while walking two batters over just 1.1 innings before being relieved of his duties. The Twins ended up managing six runs on the afternoon as Kennys Vargas, Joe Mauer, and Oswaldo Arcia each went deep in the losing effort.
Starting for the Twins on Monday night will be 24 year old rookie right-hander Trevor May, who has made just two appearances (one start) this season. Over just 4.1 innings of work on the road against the Astros and A’s, May has racked up a bloated WHIP of 3.46 and ERA of 12.46. The move to start May is cleared based out of desperation, with Yohan Pino sent back to the minors after struggling and Ricky Nolasco not quite ready to return from the DL to make this start.
The Royals should have no problems here given Vargas’ track record against the Twins and May’s horrific albeit limited body of work. I’ll take my chances on the runline to limit the juice which should rise before game time.