MLB Pick: Minnesota Twins +136 over Kansas City Royals

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Mike Pelfrey of the Twins looked good in his first American League start and he should have the advantage in his first start ever vs. a Royals team that is batting just .234 vs. right-handers.

The road underdog looks to have value on Tuesday night when Mike Pelfrey and those Minnesota Twins (4-3, 2-2 away) pay a visit to Jeremy Guthrie and the Kansas City Royals (4-3, 1-0 home) at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO at 8:10 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Minnesota as a decided underdog for this contest at current odds of +136.

The Royals rallied for three runs in the eighth inning to beat the Twins 3-1 Monday in a well-pitched game, as eight strong innings from Ervin Santana ending up trumping 7.1 strong innings from Kevin Correia, the first seven of which were shutout innings. However, we like the Twins to even the series tonight at a decent underdog price with Pelfrey on the bump.

Pelfrey is in his first season in the American League after spending his entire career with the New York Mets of the National League prior to this year, and after winning 15 games with a good 3.66 ERA for the New Yorkers in 2010, Pelfrey was mostly awful in 2011 going 7-13 with a 4.74 ERA and he was then limited to three starts last season before undergoing Tommy John surgery on May 1.

However, Pelfrey showed few problems from the surgery 11 months later in his American League debut vs. a potent Detroit Tigers lineup, surrendering only two unearned runs and five hits in 5.1 innings of an 8-2 victory last Thursday, as he was getting good sink on his pitches with a 2.75 groundball-to-flyball ratio for the game. He is now making he first ever appearance vs. Kansas City, which more often than not works to the advantage of the pitcher.

It also helps Pelfrey’s cause that the Royals are batting only .234 vs. right-handed pitchers in the early going as opposed to their early pummeling of left-handed pitchers to the tune of a whopping .304. Yes it is too early to put too much stock in those splits, except that they are continuing the same pattern from recent seasons where Kansas City hit southpaws very well but was more ordinary vs. right-handers.

Pelfrey is not the only pitcher here that had a strong seasonal debut as Guthrie of the Royals went six innings vs. the Chicago White Sox while allowing only one run on five hits with an impressive nine strikeouts over 94 pitches.. However, was that start an aberration for a pitcher whose season high in strikeouts all of last season was eight and who is averaging 5.5 strikeouts per nine innings over his career?

It very well could have been, which would make Guthrie a prime candidate to “bounce” this evening. Further fueling that possibility is the fact that Guthrie did not pitch well in his only start vs. Minnesota last season, allowing five earned runs in five innings. It also does not help matters that the Twins’ Dynamic Duo of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are a combined 10-for-24, .417 with three home runs and five extra base hits lifetime vs. Guthrie.

All things considered, Pelfrey and the Twins appear to offer nice value at this price on Tuesday.

[gameodds]3/224380/238-19-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Twins +136