MLB Odds, Pick and Predictions (Saturday, August 8): Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals

Credit:

Joe Sargent/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Danny Duffy.

  • The Twins (-182) take on the Royals in a Saturday evening showdown in Kansas City.
  • Are the struggling Royals and starter Danny Duffy being undervalued?
  • See the full betting breakdown below.

Twins vs. Royals Odds

Twins odds -182 [BET NOW]
Royals odds +155 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 9 (-122/+102) [BET NOW]
Time Saturday, 7:05 p.m. ET

Odds as of Thursday and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


The Twins will look to extend their lead in the AL Central Saturday as they send Jake Odorizzi to the mound to face Danny Duffy and the Royals. The Royals took the first game of the series behind a stellar performance from their bullpen, not allowing a hit in 4.1 innings of work. The Twins lead in the AL Central has now been reduced to only two games. With the White Sox and Indians facing off this weekend the AL Central could be very tight by the end of Sunday.

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

Twins

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs

The Twins have been solid offensively to begin the season with a .319 wOBA and 106 wRC+. But the big news that came out last night is newly acquired free agent Josh Donaldson has been placed on the 10-day IL with a strained calf. Losing Donaldson is a blow, but Twins lineup is still loaded, so there shouldn’t be that much of a drop off.

Twins Projected Starter

Jake Odorizzi, RHP

Projected Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Odorizzi primarily uses his fastball, throwing it 57.9% of the time in 2019. He does a fantastic job with location, producing a 30.7% whiff rate and a .209 batting average against last season. His main two secondary pitches are pretty solid as both of them held opponents under a .300 wOBA last year.

The Royals have been mashing fastballs during 2020, with 12.1 weighted fastball runs so far, which ranks first in MLB. Odorizzi will have to be on point with his fastball to shut down the Royals lineup.

Royals

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs

Kansas City has been fairly average offensively to begin the season. They rank 17th in MLB with a .307 wOBA and 97 wRC+. Whit Merrifield and Jorge Soler have led the way, hitting seven of the teams 16 home runs through the first 15 games. 

The Royals lead MLB against fastballs in 2020 with 12.1 weighted fastball runs. With Odorizzi being predominately a fastball pitcher, the Royals have a great opportunity offensively on Saturday.

Royals Projected Starter

Danny Duffy, LHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Danny Duffy has been really good to start 2020. Although Duffy has surrendered seven earned runs, he’s only allowed nine hits through his first 15.1 innings and has struck out 16 batters. His xFIP is a bit of a concern right now as it’s well above 4.

Duffy is predominately a fastball/slider pitcher. He used to use his high velocity on his fastball to overpower hitters, but his velocity has gone way down over the years. Now he’s got to be on point with his location, along with utilizing his secondary pitches more. So far in 2020, he’s been great with his fastball location, allowing only a .212 wOBA. His slider has also been pretty good, producing a 30% whiff rate on 34 pitches so far.

The Twins mashed left handed pitching in 2019, so Duffy will have to be at his best on Saturday.

Bullpens

Kansas City has outplayed their bullpen projections so far, ranking as the 17th best bullpen in MLB (in terms of xFIP). Minnesota’s bullpen is one of the deepest in the AL, stacked with above average arms. Neither bullpen has been over exerted the past few days, so everyone should be available to pitch.

Projections and Pick

Surprisingly, I have Kansas City favored in this game because I am really low on Odorizzi and high on the Royals bullpen. So, I will be backing Kansas City at +155 (DraftKings) and would bet it all the way down to +110.

Pick: Royals +155

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