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  • That's The Ticket: Home Opener

    John Bonnes

    Happy Opening Day!

    The Home Opener will get all the attention (and attendance). But which Twins/Royals game is "The Ticket" this week? We’ll break it down…..

    Best Pitching Matchup

    Monday, beacuse it includes Trevor May and he’s so important to this season. After spending over $100M on free agent pitchers the last two years, the Twins need some help. The 25-year-old May could be a big part of the rotation for several years to come.

    Image courtesy of Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

    Last year, we watched May come up and walk the ballpark in his first game, but he ratcheted up his control after that, walking 15 guys in 43.2 IP – versus 44 strikeouts. He also looked pretty good in limited time in spring training.

    But what you’ll really want to watch is how he pitches with runners on base. That was a significant issue: he was a different pitcher when pitching from the stretch. Last year he had a .241 batting average against when the bases were empty, but .421 batting average against when a runner was on. When the bases were empty, he struck out four times as many batters as he walked. But when a runner was on, he walked more than he struck out. He was also three times more likely to give up a home run with a runner on base.

    May can look unstoppable when he is working with a clean slate. But when runners get on base, his pace slows, his control loosens and he looks flustered. Is it mechanics? Confidence? Composure? A little of each? See for yourself.

    Winner: Monday.

    Which Game Has Been Immediately Preceded By Five Months Of Not Going To A Baseball Game?

    Trick question. The answer is:

    Winner: All of them (provided you only go to one of the games).

    Which Game Has The Best Tickets Available?

    Well, the home opener has been sold out for weeks, thanks in part to a sweet sweatshirt you can get. The good news is Ticket King still has home opener tickets available for as low as $120. The next two games are the targets of true bargain hunters. I see reasonable Target Field tickets for Wednesday, but I see a whole slew of tickets under $10 for Thursday. (And they’re even cheaper if you use Twins Daily’s secret discount code below.)

    Winner: Thursday

    Which Game Can I Expense?

    The home opener allows your client to miss work, brag to their friends and start happy hour early. Seems like it’s custom made to me.

    Winner: Monday

    What If I Work For A Living?

    Then Wednesday night’s 7:10 game is for you. Plus, you’ll get to watch Kyle Gibson, who may need to work for a living if he doesn’t do a better job than that 3.2 inning start last Wednesday at Detroit.

    Winner: Wednesday

    Which Game Will Have The Best Weather?

    Spring sprung just in time for this series and for the whole homestand. Opt for the third game, which starts at 12:10 PM, giving you lots of sunshine and Vitamin D.

    Winner: Thursday because Vitamin D is important.

    Best Game For The Family

    Not only is Wednesday’s game the only one outside of school hours, it will also give you a chance to talk up Jackie Robinson to your kids, since the Twins (and all of MLB) will be celebrating the 68th anniversary of his first game. If you really want to make an impression, use the off day on Tuesday to watch the movie 42.

    Winner: Wednesday

    What If I Want To See The World Make No Sense?

    The Royals are the American League pennant winners AND off to a 6-0 start this season. Those are both hard to believe. But the big surprise is what has driven their hot start: home runs.

    The Royals rank second in major league baseball with eight home runs this year. That is amazing because -- as well as last year’s AL Champs played -- their power was anemic. They Royals hit just 95 home runs last year. This year they’re on pace for 216.

    And it’s not like they added a bunch of sluggers. One could argue that their biggest power addition was Kendrys Morales. Yup, the same Kendrys Morales who hit one home run in his seven weeks with the Twins. So if you want to see a team continue to surprise us, I recommend……

    Winner: Monday, because there is no way this lasts, right?

    There you have it: Monday's home opener wins with three votes, but you can’t go wrong when baseball, spring and good weather come together. We’ll see you at the ballpark.


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