Series Preview: Twins at Kansas City

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 19: Ron Gardenhire #35 of the Minnesota Twins takes the ball from Alex Burnett #31 during the eighth inning on July 19, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Orioles defeated the Twins 4-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Schedule (all games on FSN)

Weather Forecast

We don't usually have this section, but this is to note that it's forecast to hit 107 degrees in Kansas City on Sunday afternoon, and that several players may be headed for the disabled list with "melted extremities."

Twins Notes

  • Last time these two teams met was at the end of June, when the Twins swept the Royals at Target Field. This was also Minnesota's last series win.
  • Josh Willingham has hit seven homers so far in July, and has a slightly unbelievable 1.224 OPS.
  • Joe Mauer has two home runs this month; he hasn't hit three or more in a month since July 2010.
  • If the draft order was set today, the Twins would pick third next year, behind Houston and Colorado.
  • That said, the Twins are only a game and a half back of Kansas City for fourth place in the AL Central; a sweep would lift the Twins out of the cellar. Minnesota hasn't been out of fifth place since April 29.

Royals Notes

  • Kansas City has traded Jonathan Sanchez for Jeremy Guthrie, which is like doomed Oregon Trail caravans swapping cholera for dysentery.
  • The Royals enter the series having just dropped three out of four to Seattle. KC also allowed the anemic Mariners offense 31 runs in the four-game series, which is probably not a good sign.
  • Last Sunday, Kansas City started Yuniesky Betancourt at designated hitter, and was sued for false advertising. (Just kidding - Betancourt's .406 slugging percentage would probably make him a power hitter in the Twins lineup.)
  • If you're after a long read, Royals Review has gone deep inside the numbers to try to find out if shortstop Alcides Escobar can keep up his hot hitting this year.
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