Series Preview: Twins vs. Royals


May 30, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur (21) sits on some quick dry bags during a rain delay against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Kansas City defeated St. Louis 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins start a three-game series tonight at Kauffman Stadium. Here’s all the relevant information you need to know about the series.


Tuesday: Samuel Deduno (1-1, 5.11 ERA) vs. Luis Mendoza (1-2, 4.63 ERA)

Wednesday: P.J. Walters (2-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (5-3, 3.84 ERA)

Thursday: Mike Pelfrey (3-6, 6.66 ERA) vs. James Shields (2-6, 2.83 ERA)

A quick statement derived from anger: Mike Pelfrey’s ERA is twice that of James Shields but he has one more win and as many losses.

One would think the pitching matchups would favor the Royals given the numbers, but Royals hitters have been so awful of late they cannot even hit pitchers with creepy ERA’s like 6.66. So while pitching is normally the key in most series, this one will come down to whether or not the Royals bats decide to come alive. If they do, then the matchups favor the Royals. If they don’t, then it is going to be a matter of who gets to three runs first.


Things have been ugly for the Royals. Ug-ly. Here are a list of recent offensive “achievements” by the Royals offense given without explanation.

– Since May 11 the Royals are averaging 3.2 runs per game.

– After hitting nine home runs from May 7 to May 11, the Royals have hit four (4!) home runs since. Miguel Tejada has two of them.

– Over their last 17 games the team is batting .236/.298/.302 (.601 OPS).

– In their last homestand, the Royals batted .228/.290/.289 (.579 OPS) as a team.

– The team hasn’t scored 5 runs or more since May 21 (12 games).

– Since May 6 (22 games), Jeff Francoeur is batting .148/.161/.246 (.407 OPS)

– Since May 6 (14 games), Chris Getz is batting .178/.275/.200 (.475 OPS)

– Since May 6 (22 games), Mike Moustakas is batting .162/.215/.311 (.526 OPS)

– Since May 6 (27 games), Alcides Escobar is batting .204/.217/.221 (.439 OPS)

– Since May 6 (25 games), Lorenzo Cain is batting .230/.306/.287 (.593 OPS)

– Since May 17 (17 games), Billy Butler is batting .222/.354/.241 (.595 OPS)

– 500 OPS Club: Francoeur, .564; Getz, .562; Moustakas, .561. Escobar has a .601 OPS, Hosmer .654.

What more do you need to know?


Justin Morneau has been dealing with the flu and may only see limited action in the series. He is batting .288/.339/.384 on the season with 2 home runs and 34 runs batted in. The illness may explain his .138/.278/.207 batting line over his last eight games.

Joe Mauer is back to doing Joe Mauer things, batting .335 with a .907 OPS. He is currently riding a five game hitting streak where he has batted .389/.500/.556 with a home run. In this recent stretch of seven wins in their last nine games for the Twins, Mauer has homered three times and scored 7 runs.

The start of Aaron Hicks career was not kind to him. In his first 25 games he batted a Royals-like .118 with a .421 OPS and just three extra base hits. Since then, things have really turned around for him. In his last 25 games he has homered five times, slugged six additional extra base hits, scored 12 runs and driven in 10. His batting average and on-base percentage are still a very poor, .227 and .261 respectively, but his has become a menace at the plate when he does manage contact.


Denny Matthews and Bob Dutton.

Each of their work has been excellent of late and one of the lone bright spots of the last month.


Kansas City had a day off yesterday which makes for the first time that George Brett would have had time to really do any work with of the Royals hitters. It’ll be interesting to see if there are any noticeable approach changes coming out of the day off. Minnesota pitching has been awful all season, specifically the starting pitching, but the Royals haven’t even hit bad pitching lately (see: Buckner, Billy).

(Factoid: The Royals have not won a season series against the Twins since 2003.)

Meanwhile, Minnesota is coming into the series winners of seven of their last nine and in third place by themselves. A good series and they could be one game under .500. Things seem to be trending towards the Twins sweeping this series, if only because the Twins always kill the Royals.