The Twins lead the series 2-0 after winning 9-3 on Tuesday, their eighth head-to-head victory in nine games this season. Kenta Maeda went seven innings, allowing two runs (1 ER) on three hits and striking out nine, to get the win.
Donovan Solano went 3 for 4 with a home run and two doubles in the win. He scored three runs. Byron Buxton also went 3 for 4 with a home run and three runs. Bobby Witt Jr. was 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs for the Royals.
ON THE MOUND
Alec Marsh (0-1, 11.25 ERA) is in line for the start for Kansas City. The righty allowed five runs over four innings in his last start, a 9-3 road defeat against the Dodgers on Friday. He was charged with the loss, scattering six hits while striking out five and walking four.
For Minnesota, righty Pablo Lopez (4-5, 4.24 ERA) takes the mound. He has made two appearances against the Royals this season, both starts, giving up six runs over 11.1 innings (2-0, 4.76) with 15 strikeouts and four walks.
In his last start on Friday, Lopez got the win on the road against the Orioles. He threw six innings and gave up one run on three hits, striking out six and walking three in the 8-1 triumph. The righty ranks third in the AL in strikeouts (126).
AT THE PLATE
Over the last five games, Kansas City has averaged 5.0 runs a game, up from their season average of 3.8, due in part to better on-base performance (.324 vs .298). Against right-handed pitchers like Lopez this season, the Royals have a .661 OPS, third lowest in MLB.
Salvador Perez is the team’s most potent producer against right-handers with a .817 OPS in 213 at-bats. Minnesota is averaging 5.4 runs per game in the last five, up from 4.3 for the season, with a better slash line (.291/.348/.477).
The Twins have a .724 OPS against right-handers in 2023. With a .774 OPS over 178 at-bats, Buxton has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Kansas City is on a three-game losing streak in road games, bringing their record to 12-30 in 2023. The Royals have scored 3.4 runs per game away from home while allowing 5.2 runs. Minnesota has won four in a row in front of their home fans.
The Twins are 25-19 at home this season, averaging 4.6 runs per game while surrendering 4.0. Minnesota is 9-1 in the last 10 games between the AL Central rivals at Target Field with an average scoreline of 5.9-2.6.
The Twins lead the AL Central by one game over the Guardians. The Royals are fifth in the AL Central, 17 games behind the Twins.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Minnesota Twins -1.5 (-120)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.