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Game 79 Open Thread - Royals vs. Twins

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Game 1 of the post-Francoeur era.

Jamie Squire

The Kansas City Royals can earn a series split with a win on Sunday against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.

Ervin Santana will take the mound for the Royals. Santana owns a 2.79 ERA over 105 innings this season, better run prevention numbers than almost everyone expected from him. His current BABIP is 30 points lower than his career average BABIP and he has stranded 12% more runners this season compared to his career average. So we can expect Santana to surrender a few more runs moving forward, but his 3.43 xFIP and 3.47 SIERA suggest that Santana has still pitched at a high level this year.

Johnny Giavotella will start his first game at second base in 2013 for Kanmsas City. Joel Goldberg of FSKC brings us the Royals starting nine:

I have no idea how Ned Yost is deciding between David Lough and Jarrod Dyson's timeshare in outfield, but that isn't terribly important.

Kevin Correia will start for Minnesota. Correia is a pitch-to-contact pitcher, who has a 12.7% K% but only a 3.8% BB%. Corriea's 3.82 ERA is acceptable, even if his 4.12 xFIP and 4.33 SIERA predict some regression. The right-hander is a back of the rotation starter who can go out and eat 170 innings in not horrible fashion.

Josh Willingham will not be in the Twins starting lineup for the second straight game, while Brian Dozier will also receive a day off. Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press brings us the Twins batting order:

The Royals need to win today, or the Twins will overtake them for third place in the AL Central.

Song of the Day: CunninLynguists - Looking Back (Acoustic)

The non-acoustic version of this song can be found on CunninLynguists fifth akbum Oneirology, but I like this version of the song as well. It's a great song on a great album, one that any hip-hop fan should own.