Minnesota Twins (53-51) vs. Kansas City Royals (47-57)
The Twins have been alternating series wins and losses since the break. Hopefully they avoid regressing against the Royals since they finished their road trip by winning two of three from Cleveland. The Royals enter the Dome on a four game winning streak, having swept three games from the Rangers in Kauffman Stadium. The Royals are 23-26 on the road, while the Twins are 28-24 at home this season. As I mentioned in this weekend’s preview, the Twins should get used to the Royals, because they will be seeing a lot of them in the next 42 games (13 against KC). Hopefully they can put some distance betwixt themselves and KC, because the Twins are actually currently closer to the last place Royals than they are to the second-place Indians.
The Royals are keeping pace with the White Sox, trying to finish the season above the AL Central cellar for the first time since ’03. When your team has been struggling for as long as KC, it’s enough for some cautious optimism. A big reason for the optimism is the young talent in the Royals batting order. Billy Butler (.315/.357/.483) and Alex Gordon (.302/.347/.464 in June/July) have been hitting the ball well. Even though they may not be part of the AL Central elite just yet, this piece on Mark Teahan’s struggles shows they know what it takes to compete in this division. A quote:
These are not the kind of numbers that even an average corner outfielder/infielder can expect to keep a job with.
Now if you’ll excuse me, that one is just sitting on a tee, waiting for someone to take a mighty swing…
Mark Teahan – .280/.353/.398, 5 HR, 29 XBH in 430 PA
Twins at 3B – .231/.303/.322, 4 HR, 22 XBH in 420 PA
Twins in LF – .235/.286/.377, 11 HR, 30 XBH in 406 PA
Kansas City recently called up Ryan Braun to help out in the bullpen. I think they just waited until interleague play was over to avoid the confusion if he were brought in to face Milwaukee’s rookie third baseman Ryan Braun. Of course that confusion is nothing compared to what must have happened to John Buck(?) right before this.
Emil Brown is my favorite baseball player. That is all.