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Minnesota Twins series preview: Still bad

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Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Just a few days removed from the last time they played the Minnesota Twins, the World Champion Kansas City Royals will play host to the cellar dwellers of the American League Central. This four-game tilt against the owners of the worst record in the A.L. could allow the Royals to get back into the playoff hunt as they attempt to move past the current .500 record that they sport. As the Twins and Royals just played last weekend, there isn't much to talk about this time around.

*All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference

Pitching match-ups

Game One - Thursday, 7:15 PM CDT

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Tyler Duffey 20 108.2 90 25 5.71 4.56 3.84 4.01 1.0 -0.3
Dillon Gee 24 86.2 70 29 4.78 5.37 4.75 4.42 -0.4 -0.0

In a rematch from Saturday, Duffey and the Twins got their one win last weekend against Gee. Bad Luck Duffey outpitched the completely pedestrian Gee en route to his third-straight win. While his peripherals suggest that he's pitched significantly better than his ERA would seem to indicate, his home-run and strand rates have both undone him. With the Royals offense heating up, they just might get revenge from this past weekend.

Game Two - Friday, 7:15 PM CDT

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Jose Berrios 7 28.0 30 14 9.32 5.97 4.74 4.51 -0.2 -1.0
Edinson Volquez 25 147.1 107 54 4.95 4.39 4.44 4.56 1.4 -0.2

In his first four major-league starts, Berrios had virtually nothing go right for him. Then he got sent down to AAA-Rochester, tore up the competition, and got recalled at the beginning of August. Upon being summoned back to the bigs, he strung together another three completely underwhelming starts. His prospect pedigree is still waiting for him to realize even a fraction of his potential. Until then, hopefully the Royals can feast upon his ineffectiveness.

Game Three - Saturday, 6:15 PM CDT

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Hector Santiago (L) 25 135.0 117 60 4.80 5.17 5.14 4.78 0.4 0.3
Ian Kennedy 24 140.1 139 46 3.78 4.95 4.53 4.07 0.7 2.3

In his three starts for the Twins, the former Angel and Pale Hoe has been brutal. While he was serviceable in Anaheim, Santiago has yet to make it out of the sixth, and he's yielded at least four earned runs in all three of his starts, including seven in four innings on Sunday against the Royals.

Game Four - Sunday, 1:15 PM CDT

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Ervin Santana 22 133.2 99 33 3.43 3.79 4.33 4.40 2.3 2.7
Danny Duffy 34 132.0 143 27 2.73 3.23 3.69 3.29 3.0 3.9

By any measure, Santana would be the Royals' second-best pitcher this season. Sadly, he's not a Royal.

The Batsmen

Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB BA OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Brian Dozier 2B 506 26 72 72 8 .267 .341 .527 .364 128 3.7 4.1
Joe Mauer (L) 1B 482 10 62 44 2 .284 .384 .417 .346 116 1.7 2.7
Max Kepler (L) RF 299 15 42 53 4 .259 .342 .502 .354 122 1.7 2.7
Miguel Sano DH 363 20 44 50 1 .250 .342 .491 .354 122 1.6 0.7
Trevor Plouffe 3B 259 7 25 32 1 .259 .295 .399 .298 83 -0.1 -0.3
Eddie Rosario (L) CF 263 8 39 28 5 .269 .295 .438 .309 90 0.9 0.5
Jorge Polanco (S) SS 106 1 11 10 3 .320 .356 .454 .347 117 0.9 0.9
Kurt Suzuki C 294 6 30 38 0 .281 .321 .431 .323 100 0.9 1.0
Danny Santana (S) LF 226 2 29 14 12 .256 .298 .351 .283 73 -0.2 -0.7
Bench Pos PA HR R RBI SB BA OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Juan Centeno (L) C 135 2 13 19 0 .272 .321 .400 .313 93 0.4 0.4
Robbie Grossman (S) OF 288 8 39 28 1 .266 .385 .432 .359 125 0.8 0.1
Eduardo Escobar (S) IF 266 5 24 31 1 .259 .283 .380 .284 73 0.0 -0.3
Kennys Vargas (S) 1B 103 6 19 13 0 .259 .379 .576 .397 151 0.8 1.0

Stats through Tuesday, August 16

This offensive unit is the same one that put up 12 runs over the past weekend with Ventura, Volquez, and Gee getting their starts. They've got some pop, and Brian Dozier is red hot. The Twins offense is capable of doing some damage, but so is their defense, and that damage is of the self-inflicted variety. As a unit, the Twins defense has been prone to mental lapses that have cost them dearly, particularly against the Royals.

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