The Minnesota Twins host the Kansas City Royals Saturday in the third game of a four-game series. The Twins won the first game of the series to improve to 94-59 while the Royals fell to 56-98 — not including Friday night’s game. Right-hander Jose Berrios (13-8) gets the start for the Twins while the Royals go with right-hander Glenn Sparkman (4-11). Game time is 7:10 p.m. Eastern at Target Field in Minneapolis
Royals lose 3rd straight
The Royals have lost 3 straight and 6 of their last 7 games to fall to 56-98, not including Friday night’s game. They are in no danger of falling below the Tigers in the AL Central, but they also have no chance of catching the third place White Sox. The Royals lost the first game of this series on Thursday 8-5. Nicky Lopez went 3 for 4 with an RBI. Ryan McBroom and Alex Gordion both had 2 hits while Adalberto MOndesi had 2 RBIs. Jacob Barnes (1-3) took the loss.
The Royals have some decent hitters in their lineup. But they only average 4.2 runs per game, which is 28th in the majors. They are batting .245 as a team, which is 24th in the league, and have a slugging percentage of .398, which is 28th in the league. They are 28th in homers. Whit Merrifield leads the team with an average of .303 with 16 home runs and 74 RBIs. Jorge Soler leads the team with 45 home runs and 110 RBIs, along with a batting average of .251. He is tied for first in the American League in home runs and is 3rd in RBIs. Hunter Dozier is batting .290 with 26 home runs and 82 RBIs.
The Royals pitching has not been good. They have a team ERA of 5.14, which is 26th in the majors, and a WHIP of 1.47, which is 28th. Glenn Sparkman gets the start for the Royals. The right-hander is 4-11 on the year with an ERA of 6.02. He gave up 4 runs in 4.1 innings in a no-decision last time out.
Twins look to playoffs
The Minnesota Twins beat back a challenge from the Cleveland Indians and are now cruising to the AL Central title and the playoffs. They are 94-59 and hold a 4 game lead over the Indians in the division. On Thursday they won the opening game of this series, beating the Royals 8-5. Nelson Cruz had a monster game going 2 for 4 with 2 home runs and 5 RBIs. He is definitely making a pitch for league MVP. Miguel Sano continues to pound the ball, going 2 for 3 with a home run and 2 RBIs. Mitch Garver added 2 hits including a home run. Lewis Thorpe (3-2) got the win in relief.
The 39-year-old Nelson Cruz hit his 39th homer of the season tonight.He joins Hank Aaron (1973) and Barry Bonds (2003 & 2004) as the only 39-year-olds (or older) to hit a homer equal to their age in a season.@Twins #MNTwins— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) September 20, 2019
The Twins offense is among the very best in the majors. They average 5.8 runs per game, which is 2nd in the Majors. They hit .273 as a team, which is 2nd in the league, and they have a slugging percentage of .494, which is first. They are also first in home runs. Nelson Cruz leads the Twins hitting .299 with 39 home runs and 102 RBIs. Max Kepler, who is out with an injury, leads the team with 36 home runs and 90 RBIs and is batting .252. Eddie Rosario has 31 home runs along with 101 RBIs and is batting .279. Also, Miguel Sano has 31 home runs with 71 RBIs and is batting .242.
The Twins pitching has been very solid. They have a team ERA of 4.18, which is 8th in the league. They have a team WHIP of 1.30, which is 8th. Jose Berrios gets the start for the Twins. The right-hander is 13-8 with a 3.58 ERA. He won his last start, allowing 2 runs in 7.1 innings.
- Twins are 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Twins are 22-7 in their last 29 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
- Twins are 55-18 in their last 73 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.
- Twins are 13-5 in their last 18 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Twins are 5-2 in their last 7 overall.
- Twins are 5-1 in Berrios’ last 6 Saturday starts.
- Twins are 16-5 in Berrios’ last 21 home starts vs. a team with a losing record.
- Royals are 11-23 in their last 34 games after losing the first 2 games of a series.
- Royals are 14-41 in their last 55 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Royals are 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Royals are 1-6 in their last 7 overall.
- Royals are 3-9 in Sparkmans last 12 road starts.
- Royals are 1-5 in Sparkmans last 6 starts with 4 days of rest.
- Royals are 1-5 in Sparkmans last 6 road starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Royals are 1-9 in Sparkmans last 10 starts vs. a team with a winning record.