The rubber game between the Kansas City Royals and the Minnesota Twins features a pitching matchup that heavily favors KC. Yordano Ventura is getting better by the minute, and Minnesota veteran Kevin Correia has a season ERA above five and a career ERA above 4.5. He isn’t expected to compete for the Cy Young any time soon.
Correia is nothing if not consistent this season, whether or not that ever means consistently good. From June 10 to July 12, Correia pitched seven straight games in which he threw between six and seven innings and allowed between five and six hits. Both lefties and right-handed batters are hitting between .300 and .305 against him, and his 4.61 ERA before the break was just 0.07 away from his career ERA. However, his post-All-Star break ERA is 11.25 thanks to two ugly outings in the latter half of July.
Despite his struggles, the 33-year-old still has his name bouncing around in trade talks, even perhaps to this moment. The Twins are currently a stumbling club with a small wallet and plenty of prospects, so they’d be happy to move Correia if anyone were desperate enough to take him. The Royals could lower his stock even further by pounding him to clinch a series win on Thursday.
Correia faced KC often over the last two seasons, and several batters were successful against him. 10 different Royals have seen him at least a dozen times, and four of those batters have averages of .375 and above. Correia’s last start against the Royals came on July 2 and resulted in a six-inning, six-hit, two-walk and two-run performance, making it one of his best starts this year.