The Kansas City Royals look to even their series with the Minnesota Twins tonight, and fans in KC can’t be blamed for expecting their team to win this series. The Twins are 23rd in the league in team batting average, 26th in total HR and 27th in SLG%. Minnesota also ranks 27th in team batting average with runners in scoring position, making it no wonder that the Twins sit comfortably in the cellar of their division. KC fans should also eagerly expect the Royals to run all over the Twins in order to come back and win this series.
Minnesota has a solid defense, but they struggle mightily with speedy base-runners. Only the Colorado Rockies have a worse percentage of bases stolen against them than the Twins’ 83.8 percent. I’ve already discussed why KC should have an advantage in Game 2 facing off against Phil Hughes, but they could be in trouble if they don’t jump on Minnesota’s starters in this series. The Twins have a bullpen ERA of 3.15 that actually beats out KC’s 3.38 by one place in the statistical rankings.
For the most part, these stats portray Minnesota as a struggling, beatable team. It’s far too late in the season for the Royals to continue losing ground in the playoff race by losing to bad clubs, and a few more tough losses like what fans witnessed on Tuesday could ruin KC’s chances this year. The Royals are currently 5-6 since coming back from the All-Star break, after losing four, then winning five and now losing two straight to bring them to this game. With ace-of-the-future Danny Duffy on the mound, the Royals would drive fans in KC crazy by winning this series and starting a new streak.