The Minnesota Twins look to snap a two-game losing streak when they face the host Kansas City Royals in the first of a four-game weekend series on Thursday night. First pitch for this one is set for 8:10 p.m. ET at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
The Twins have lost two in a row, including a 6-3 setback to the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday. The loss dropped Minnesota to 22-33 and alone into last place in the American League Central, one game behind the fourth-place Detroit Tigers.
Kansas City has won three games in a row, including a 10-5 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday. The Royals are 27-26 and in third place in the AL Central entering Thursday’s action, 2½ games behind the second-place Cleveland Indians and five games ahead of the fourth-place Tigers.
Looking at the MLB odds for betting on this game, the Royals have a moneyline of -111, while the Twins are +101. The over/under for the contest has been set at 9½ runs.
Needing Some Wins
Left-hander J.A. Happ will get the start in the series opener for Minnesota, making his 10th star. The 38-year-old is 3-2 with a 5.24 ERA, striking out 35 and walking 16 in 46.1 innings.
Happ faced the Royals in his last start on Saturday, getting the win after going five innings and allowing two runs on three hits, including a home run. He struck out five and walked two in the contest.
Designated hitter Nelson Cruz has gone 10 games without a home run, yet he still leads the Twins with 10. He also paces the club with a .274 batting average and 25 RBIs.
First baseman Miguel Sano and outfielder Byron Buxton have nine home runs apiece, though Buxton hasn’t played since early May with a hip injury. He has been running in recent days, spurring hopes that his return is imminent.
The Royals have won three in a row and really got it going against Pittsburgh on Tuesday behind Andrew Benintendi. The outfielder had a grand slam and drove in five runs in the 10-run outburst by Kansas City.
“What a show,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said after Tuesday’s win. “The top-of-the-order hitters gave the opportunities for Beni, and what a sweet swing that was. It was great to see a lot of different guys make things happen.”
Benintendi leads the Royals with a .291 batting average, with five doubles, five home runs, 23 RBIs and 25 runs scored. Catcher Salvador Perez had two home runs in the win, giving him a team-high 12. He also leads the Royals with 36 RBIs and has scored 23 times.
Left-hander Kris Bubic will take the mound for Kansas City in the series opener. The 23-year-old is 1-0 with a 1.52 ERA in seven appearances, including three starts.
Bubic got his first win in his last start against Minnesota on Friday. He went six innings and allowed one run on four hits, including a home run, while striking out five and walking two.
Royals Get Home Win
Kansas City is playing well and took two of three from the Twins just last weekend. Bubic has had success against Minnesota and should continue that in this one.
When doing your MLB betting, take Kansas City to get the win at home.
Pick: Kansas City Royals -111