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Notebook 8/21: Kansas City Again?

The Twins and Royals will meet up for their final series of 2020 beginning tonight. The Twins are 3-4 against KC this season with a -1 run differential so hopefully they can turn it around tonight.
Image courtesy of Peter Aiken, USA Today
Thursday’s series finale recap:
It’s a Blessed Jose Berrios Day!

TODAY
Twins @ Royals, 7:05 pm CDT
Betting Lines: MIN -180, KC +155, O/U: 9.5

Twins Starter: Jake Odorizzi, RHP 5.14 ERA

Jake Odorizzi will be taking the mound for his third start of the season tonight. His first start didn’t go well, but there was good reason for that as he was coming off the injured list. His last start went better, but still not great as he went just four innings giving up two runs on three hits with six strikeouts. Today the Twins will be looking for at least five innings from Odorizzi.

It’s early, but the 2019 All Star has dropped his fastball usage by 20% so far since last season. That was his best pitch a year ago so maybe this is just a case of a small sample size not proving anything, but it is certainly odd that he would drop by that much. He is throwing his split finger, changeup, and curveball all at an increased rate so far.

Royals Starter: Danny Duffy, LHP 4.44 ERA

Danny Duffy, the Royals 2020 Opening Day starter, will be making his sixth start of the season. He has had a pretty solid start to his campaign with a 4.44 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 28 strikeouts in 24.0 innings. This is already his tenth season in the majors and all of them have been in Kansas City. The Twins have seen him a lot, and maybe today they can get him early.

Duffy started in game two of the recent double header between these two teams and did very well. He threw five innings of one run ball while allowing just two hits and striking out eight. The lone run came on a sacrifice fly from Marwin Gonzalez to drive in Jorge Polanco. The Twins will have a few new faces since that series so maybe things will go differently.

Twins Lineup:

Interesting lineup for the Twins today:

News & Notes:

- Ryan Jeffers made his MLB debut last nightand looked great. He went two for three and drove in a run in his first MLB at bat. He was also behind the plate for Berrios’ best start of 2020.

-It was great to see Jose Berrios on his game yesterday. It was the best we have seen him all season and the Twins will need him to continue to look like that all year.

-The Padres are the most fun team in baseball. Last night they had a grand slam for the fourth night in a row and they all came against the Texas Rangers who are known for hating fun.

- The AL Central is going to be tight. The Royals and Tigers are at the bottom as expected but the White Sox and Indians are right behind the Twins. Cleveland has won six in a row and Chicago has won five, keeping both teams near the top.

AROUND THE AL CENTRAL:

-White Sox 9, Tigers 0
-Indians 2, Pirates 0

1. MIN 17-9 (-)
2. CLE 16-9 (0.5 GB)
3. CWS 15-11 (2.0 GB
4. KCR 10-15 (6.5 GB)
5. DET 9-14 (6.5 GB)

See Also:

Precious Child Thanks Rich Hill for New, Fun Words
Jeffers Shines in Big League Debut
The One PLayer Minnesota Shouldn’t Trade for

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
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12 Comments

How crazy is it that Cleveland demoted two great players (for personal reasons) and they have virtually ZERO offense....yet they're just a half game back and have won 6 in a row.

 

If they had a couple more bats they'd be even more dangerous.

    • h2oface, Danchat, mikelink45 and 2 others like this

Is that lineup correct? Jeffers is catching a day game after a night game? Is Avila beat up also?

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BeatTheRich
Aug 21 2020 02:23 PM

Not a lineup I expected to see this year.

 

Oh well, wrack the Royals. Beat them like a drum. Sergio pitching just to stay fresh, not because he's needed as a closer. Bring the brooms, Twins.

    • h2oface likes this
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twinbythebay
Aug 21 2020 02:48 PM

 

Is that lineup correct? Jeffers is catching a day game after a night game? Is Avila beat up also?

Unless I'm missing something, I don't think today is a day game... I'm guessing they just don't want Avila starting against a lefty. I'd expect him to start tomorrow since Singer is a righty.

    • USAFChief and Danchat like this
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stringer bell
Aug 21 2020 02:49 PM

 

Is that lineup correct? Jeffers is catching a day game after a night game? Is Avila beat up also?

It is a night game in KC, but yes Jeffers is catching back-to-back games.

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twinbythebay
Aug 21 2020 02:53 PM

 

How crazy is it that Cleveland demoted two great players (for personal reasons) and they have virtually ZERO offense....yet they're just a half game back and have won 6 in a row.

 

If they had a couple more bats they'd be even more dangerous.

To be fair, those six games were all against Detroit and Pittsburgh. And let's see who Cleveland is playing this weekend... oh, Detroit again. I doubt the Twins will still be in first place after this weekend unless they can sweep KC. Thankfully, Cleveland's schedule gets a little tougher after that.

    • h2oface likes this

Odd lineup. Kepler hitting 8, Sano (he has been heating up) in clean-up, Gonzalez leading off and Cave hitting 2.... no Polanco..... but cast off Ildemaro Vargas... and Ehire Adrianza 6,7.

 

Not the lineup that was picked to finish 1st in the AL Central.

 

To be fair..... we also lost 3 in a row to KC, so Cleveland took care of business while this team did not. Plus, Detroit is hitting like the Twins were supposed to. Chicago is rising, too. This is gonna be an interesting next 6 weeks.

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stringer bell
Aug 21 2020 04:28 PM

Lineup thoughts--Rocco does use his bench and it seemed astute last year. He seems committed to keeping Kepler in right field this year and I think that is a good idea. That does box him in with Buxton's injury because Cave is a lefty and the only practical center fielder (aside from Kepler). 

 

Polanco didn't hit the ball sharply in the last series and in his career has been a better left handed hitter. I hope Arraez can get on the field soon, but Vargas has looked pretty good to me. 

 

Odd lineup. Kepler hitting 8, Sano (he has been heating up) in clean-up, Gonzalez leading off and Cave hitting 2.... no Polanco..... but cast off Ildemaro Vargas... and Ehire Adrianza 6,7.

 

Not the lineup that was picked to finish 1st in the AL Central.

 

To be fair..... we also lost 3 in a row to KC, so Cleveland took care of business while this team did not. Plus, Detroit is hitting like the Twins were supposed to. Chicago is rising, too. This is gonna be an interesting next 6 weeks.

Detroit is hitting well? Gardy's crew has dropped 9 straight games and their 2nd best hitter OPS-wise, C. J. Cron, is done for the year.

 

Cleveland and Chicago are real threats, though. No questions there.

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stringer bell
Aug 21 2020 05:38 PM

You can continue the conversation about the Twins vs. Royals in the game thread in the Minnesota Twins Talk forum. Hey, in 48 hours we'll be done with the pesky Royals.

 

http://twinsdaily.co...-cdt-8212020ad/

 

To be fair, those six games were all against Detroit and Pittsburgh. And let's see who Cleveland is playing this weekend... oh, Detroit again. I doubt the Twins will still be in first place after this weekend unless they can sweep KC. Thankfully, Cleveland's schedule gets a little tougher after that.

And who have we faced the most?KC and we are still not 500 against them and we played Pittsburgh too.Don't diminish the Indians achievements until you look at ours

 

I do not buy the excuse that the player is coming back off an injury and therefore we should excuse poor performance.Oddorizzi has been preparing for this start.He is a professional player with a lot of experience.I can accept a bad performance, but not a lame excuse.


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