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Game 108: Royals at Twins

A rematch with the Royals will hopefully go better this time.

Cleveland Indians v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images




Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Royals are not a good baseball team this year.

Just three seasons removed from back-to-back American League pennants, the Royals’ win-loss record of 34-74 would be the worst in the major leagues if not for the existence of the incrementally-more-terrible Baltimore Orioles.

Despite Kansas City’s primary competition being for the first overall pick in next year’s draft, that didn’t stop Ned Yost’s ballclub from sweeping the Twins at Kauffman two weeks ago, in a disappointing resumption series that effectively killed what momentum the Twins had entering the All-Star Break.

The Twins, on the other hand, are a bit of a new-look ballclub. After a flurry of trades and promotions, the Royals will be facing a different mix of faces on the pitching rubber and in the batter’s box.

Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kansas City’s Starter: Heath Fillmyer

(0-1, 3.29 ERA, 4.93 FIP, 27.1 IP, 4.0 BB/9, 4.9 K/9, 0.0 fWAR)

Youngster Fillmyer has less than 30 major-league innings under his belt, debuting with Kansas City this season after spending four years working his way up Oakland’s minor leagues.

There’s not much of a book on Fillmyer yet; he features your standard fastball-curveball-changeup-slider mix, with an occasional sinker thrown into the mix. The right-hander sits in the low 90’s, with his slowest curve dipping under 80 mph.

Last time out, Fillmyer went five innings at Yankee Stadium, holding New York to three runs, but maxing out at 84 pitches — just four shy of his season-high. If the Twins can stay deep into counts, the swingman might be forced out of the game early.

Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

Minnesota’s Starter: Jake Odorizzi

(4-7, 4.58 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 112 IP, 9.5 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 1.4 fWAR)

Odorizzi’s last start against Kansas City was one of his best in a while, involving eight strikeouts and just two hits allowed over six innings of work. His most recent start was...less so: five innings, five runs on nine hits at Fenway Park.

July featured a 4.44 ERA for Jake, not too far off his season average. It was certainly better than his June mark of 5.96, but Odorizzi’s March-April splits remain his best of the year (3.94 ERA.)

Perhaps August will provide Odorizzi with an opportunity to start out strong and put some good numbers in the boxscore for the Twins. The team — and the fans alike — would undoubtedly appreciate it.

Tonight’s Lineups



Tonight marks the start of Twins Hall of Fame Weekend, where two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana will be the only inductee. Fans will be getting Johan-related merchandise all weekend (tonight’s promotion is a Johan pin!), and the actual induction ceremony will take place tomorrow.