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Game 106: Twins at Royals

It’s losses like that which tighten the screws.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

First Pitch: 6:10 pm CDT

TV: Bally Sports North / ~ / Radio: TIBN

I think most fans of most teams would expect their home club to take two out of three games with the Kansas City Royals. If that math checks out, then after a soul-crushing loss last night, Minnesota is due to put the hurt on for the rest of the weekend.

They’re especially due for a few more contextual reasons, as well — one being the trade deadline, merely a few days away; the other being the Cleveland Guardians, merely a game and a half back.

The Guardians have not shown the upstart electricity that brought them to the top of the division in 2022, but with the Twins still only just .500, it won’t take a second-half surge for Cleveland to work their way back upstairs. Losses to the Kansas City Royals, who just won their 30th game of the year last night, aren’t helping things.

But, it’s baseball, and the script could flip emphatically back in the Twins’ favor tonight, as they sent Bailey Ober out to spar against the 1-12, 6.19 ERA profile of Mr. Jordan Lyles, who has managed to line up for his third weekend Twins start of the year.

The book is certainly out on Lyles, who has racked up -2.2 bWAR in a 13-year, 5.18 ERA career, spent eating innings for non-contending teams. The Dodgers and Rays have yet to take a pass at this guy, but it would be fun to see a 38-year-old Lyles suddenly find it for just one season as a lights-out reliever or something.

In the wide world of batting orders, the big change here is Byron Buxton’s re-addition to the starting lineup following the birth of his third consecutive son. He hits behind the torrid coalition of Edouard Julien, Alex Kirilloff, Max Kepler???, and Jorge Polanco, who was truly missed and made a good impression with the bat in his first outing at the hot corner on Friday night.

COURTESY: Baseball Savant (click to expand!)