Expert Cappers Picks
Major League Baseball
Preview
Minnesota at Kansas City
When: 2:15 PM ET, Sunday, July 22, 2018
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

The Kansas City Royals didn’t sweep a single series in the first half, but they have a chance to change that Sunday. The Royals look to take three in a row from the visiting Minnesota Twins when the American League Central rivals wrap up their series Sunday.

The Royals lost 13 of their last 15 games before the All-Star break, but they’ve come out of the All-Star break strong. A third consecutive win would match the longest streak of the season for Kansas City (29-68), which owns the second-worst record in the majors. The Twins won nine of 11 going into the break to preserve their slim playoff hopes, but they struggled in clutch situations in the series opener and struck out 11 times Saturday. Minnesota has lost eight straight on the road.

TV: 2:15 p.m. ET, FS North (Minnesota), FS Kansas City

PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH Jake Odorizzi (4-6, 4.54 ERA) vs. Royals RH Brad Keller (2-4, 3.13)

Odorizzi had a rough outing in his last start before the All-Star break, allowing six runs (five earned) in 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision against Tampa Bay. The 28-year-old had allowed only two runs over 17 frames across his previous three outings. Odorizzi is 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA in seven games (six starts) against the team he made his major-league debut with back in 2012.

Keller was a Rule 5 pick who was excellent in the bullpen before moving into the rotation in late May. The 22-year-old had posted three straight quality starts before getting roughed up for nine runs in 7 1/3 innings across his last two outings before the break. Keller made his first big-league start against the Twins on May 30 and allowed one run and three hits over three innings in a no-decision.

WALK-OFFS

1. Royals C Salvador Perez is 10-for-33 during an eight-game hitting streak and has reached base in 15 straight contests.

2. Twins LF Eddie Rosario is 16-for-40 during a nine-game hitting streak and has hit safely in his last 13 games against the Royals.

3. Royals 2B Whit Merrifield, who is 3-for-5 with two homers versus Odorizzi, has reached base in 18 consecutive games.

PREDICTION: Twins 7, Royals 5


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Minnesota 44-52 L2 29-22 15-30 12-12 19-16 7-12 6-12
Kansas City 29-68 W2 13-35 16-33 3-15 16-21 7-26 3-6
Last Meeting
Minnesota Kansas City
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/21/18 MIN 2 KC 4 .219 0 .536 .207 1 .705
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Minnesota E. Rosario .333 12 .761
Kansas City A. Gordon .294 10 .763
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Minnesota B. Dozier 3 6 7
Kansas City M. Moustakas 3 6 8
Pitching ERA Avg K
Minnesota 5.01 .276 71
Kansas City 4.68 .279 70
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Minnesota E. Rosario .312 120 .885
Kansas City W. Merrifield .305 111 .803
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Minnesota E. Rosario 19 66 62
Kansas City M. Moustakas 19 44 58
Pitching ERA Avg K
Minnesota 4.53 .245 857
Kansas City 5.36 .239 683