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Royals series preview: The Minnesota Twins again

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These four are for some of the marbles.

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MLB: Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins
Star.
Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

There isn’t a whole lot that’s changed since the Royals traveled to Target Field last weekend. The Royals are still 2.5 games behind the Twins, who still hold the second Wild Card spot.

Alex McDonald at numberFire shot their odds for the series over:

In the first game of the series, we give the Royals a 48.27% chance to win tomorrow night. In the second game, a 49.15% chance. In the third game, a 49.07% chance. And in the fourth game, a 47.92% chance on Sunday.

These are the game times and pitching matchups:

  • Thursday, September 7, 7:15 PM CDT - Kyle Gibson versus Sam Gaviglio
  • Friday, September 8, 7:15 PM CDT - Ervin Santana versus Ian Kennedy
  • Saturday, September 9, 6:15 PM CDT - José Berríos versus Jake Junis
  • Sunday, September 10, 1:15 PM CDT - Bartolo Colón versus Jason Vargas

Twins at Royals pitching matchups

Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Kyle Gibson 24 128.1 95 16.5 52 9.0 5.33 4.89 4.44 4.77 0.9 -0.1
Sam Gaviglio 12 62.1 40 15.4 21 8.1 4.62 6.08 4.86 5.02 -0.4 0.3
Ervin Santana 28 182.2 148 19.7 58 7.7 3.35 4.59 4.75 4.60 2.2 3.8
Ian Kennedy 26 135.2 113 19.6 55 9.5 5.37 5.57 5.32 4.93 -0.2 0.5
José Berríos 21 123.1 122 23.7 36 7.0 4.01 3.82 4.30 4.05 2.5 1.3
Jake Junis 15 68.1 60 20.1 18 6.0 4.48 4.42 4.86 4.37 0.7 0.8
Bartolo Colón 23 124.2 80 14.1 31 5.5 6.06 5.02 5.04 4.99 0.8 -1.1
Jason Vargas (L) 27 153.1 113 17.4 46 7.1 4.23 4.69 4.97 4.84 1.4 3.1

Frankly, it’s hard to look at any of those matchups and feel good about them if you’re the Royals. The Royals just saw Gibson on Saturday, but they didn’t do anything against him while getting blown out 17-0. While the Royals won’t be trotting Onelki Garcia out there, Sam Gaviglio is a wild card, at best, as he was just released by the Mariners as a 40-man casualty despite having six more years of club control.

The Royals somewhat miraculously won an Ian Kennedy start on Sunday, a game that saw Kennedy face off against the same opposing pitcher as he’ll get on Friday in the form of Ervin Santana. That outcome notwithstanding, Kennedy was abysmal in August.

Junis has had a nice season, but he’s no José Berríos.

Colón was terrible in Atlanta, but he’s been solid since the Twins picked him up. Vargas has not just turned back into a pumpkin, but the pumpkin’s overrun with maggots.

Minnesota Twins position players

Player Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Player Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Brian Dozier 2B 605 28 83 79 14 .262 .350 .480 .351 116 3.4 3.4
Byron Buxton CF 418 13 58 42 25 .256 .320 .413 .316 92 3.1 4.8
Joe Mauer (L) 1B 504 6 59 56 2 .302 .383 .415 .349 115 2.0 3.1
Eddie Rosario (L) LF 494 20 65 60 7 .286 .326 .490 .342 110 1.6 1.0
Max Kepler (L) RF 501 17 61 62 5 .247 .316 .433 .319 94 1.2 1.9
Jorge Polanco (S) SS 444 10 51 60 10 .256 .307 .410 .305 85 1.1 1.7
Eduardo Escobar (S) 3B 398 15 45 56 4 .249 .307 .423 .309 88 0.9 0.4
Jason Castro (L) C 345 7 40 36 0 .227 .325 .367 .304 84 0.9 2.0
Chris Gimenez C 196 6 20 14 1 .198 .330 .352 .306 85 0.8 0.3
Ehire Adrianza (S) Util 149 1 21 20 8 .254 .324 .357 .293 76 0.6 0.5
Robbie Grossman (S) DH/OF 383 8 51 36 2 .244 .366 .372 .330 102 0.4 0.6
Kennys Vargas (S) 1B/DH 231 9 30 36 0 .245 .303 .420 .308 87 0.1 0.5
Mitch Garver C 38 0 5 1 0 .219 .342 .375 .316 92 0.0 0.2
Niko Goodrum (S) 3B 5 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 -100 -0.1 -0.1
Zack Granite (L) OF 86 0 8 8 2 .231 .302 .256 .256 51 -0.3 -0.1

Still the same guys.

Poll

How will the Royals fare against the Twins?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Royals sweep
    (21 votes)
  • 30%
    Royals take three of four
    (61 votes)
  • 30%
    Split
    (61 votes)
  • 19%
    Twins take three of four
    (40 votes)
  • 9%
    Twins sweep
    (19 votes)
202 votes total Vote Now

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference through action on Tuesday, September 5.

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