Tonight the Royals head to Minnesota to start the first game in a three-game tilt.
The Royals will send southpaw Danny Duffy to the mound. Duffy will hope to continue to outperform his peripherals against the Royals' division rivals. His 2.69 ERA sits more than a full run lower than his 3.87 FIP and even more so than his 4.54 xFIP and 4.39 SIERA. This is mostly on account of the .217 BABIP that he's been lucky enough to allow. The Royals defense is very good, particularly the outfield. As he's a fly-ball pitcher, this could certainly help him distance his BABIP from .300. Continuing to separate himself from .300 by .083 points, however, is probably not sustainable. He's trimmed his walk rates to a much more palatable 3.63 BB/9 and 10.0%. With those cut walk rates has come a similar drop in strikeout rates. It has also lead to him averaging just over six innings per start since the kid gloves were taken off following his second start of the season.
For the Twins, right-handed minor-league journeyman Yohan Pino will toe the rubber. The 30-year-old rookie spent time in the Twins', Racists', Blue Jays', Reds', and Twins' (again) farm systems, toiling away almost entirely in the International League (AAA) since 2009.
No Major League team should routinely struggle against these pitchers. The Royals, however, seem to make these raw marginal starting pitchers into, well, you know the drill. It seems to especially be the case with the Twins, as Cy Albers and Cy Deduno would attest.
Maybe things will be different tonight. Or maybe we'll be calling him Cy Pino after tonight's game.