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Game 160 Open Thread - Royals (73-86) at Twins (87-72)

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After essentially a week on the road, its good to have a game to follow tonight, something I haven't been truly able to do since last Wednesday or so. Since then, I've attended a Nats-Mets game, spent a weekend in NYC for a bachelor party, bussed it back to D.C., then, after one night at home, headed back the exact same way, spending two nights in Connecticut and one in Boston. Moreover, from a pure baseball fan perspective, I'm really looking forward to this series. As I've tried to point out in numerous Secrets of the AL Central posts, there really isn't much difference between any of the teams in this division, and for certain stretches each team, including Kansas City and Detroit, has played the best baseball. Even after their sweep of the White Sox, the Twins are just 10-12 this month, and 34-30 in the second half, a time which has included various positional upgrades and the return of tonight's starter Fransisco Liriano (3.39 ERA).

Basically, the Twins have played well against the Royals (11-4) and the National League (14-4) and are 52-64 against everyone else. Of course, they'll probably win the World Series.

Nevertheless, if you subscribe to notions of momentum and surges and clutchness etc, the Twins should be a formidable opponent this weekend. The Royals have drawn something like two walks in a million innings against Minnesota this year, and even though the Minnesota bullpen may be a bit tattered, for whatever reason the Royals just haven't generated offense against them. That being said, the Royals have momentum of their own, and with better options at first base and the returns of Billy Butler to productivity and Alex Gordon to the lineup, are probably more dangerous offensively than they have been all season.

This weekend is the World Series for the Royals and it would be very fun if they could shake up the Central race with a win or two.