Punchless in Minnesota

May I have this dance? - Jamie Squire

What happens when the two teams that will lead the league in the fewest home runs face off at Target Field? I predict singles.

The Royals head north for a quick four game road trip in Minneapolis starting this evening.

The Royals and Twins have faced off six times this summer, all of them coming at The K. Despite the fact the Royals home park is a huge problem and limits walks, home runs and common sense, the local nine have won five of those games from Minnesota.

The Royals have scored 24 runs in those six games. Shocking that they are averaging four runs per game. Meanwhile, the Royals arms have kept the Twins largely in check, allowing just 12 runs to score and never more than four in any single game.

Tonight's starter for the Twins, Sam Deduno has made six starts this year, one against the Royals. It won't come as a surprise to learn his best Game Score came in that start. Back on June 4, he went six innings where he allowed just four hits and no runs for a Game Score of 67. He made one other start against the Royals back in 2012 where he allowed one run in 6.1 innings. Clearly, he owns the Royals.

The Royals counter with Jeremy Regression. I mean Jeremy Guthrie. In his last seven starts, Guthrie has pitched 40 innings, walked 17, struck out 15 and coughed up eight home runs. Overall, his ERA has ballooned to 4.20, which is now closing in on his xFIP. There's still a ways to go, though.

Hopefully, he can keep Regression at bay for another start. The Twins aren't exactly a firepower on offense, but they are at league average on taking a walk and striking out.

What this game is really about is what happens when the two teams that will lead the league with the fewest home runs take the field against each other. I'd predict singles. The Royals are last in the AL with a .370 slugging and the Twins are 10th with a .388 slugging.

I'd use the cliche that the gloves are off, but I'm not sure they were ever on. Or even located.

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