Royals, Twins to stay ‘under’ is Your MLB Pick for Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, April 13, 2015 1:54 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 13, 2015 1:54 PM UTC

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Monday.


There could be a relatively low scoring affair in the Twin Cities on Monday when southpaw Danny Duffy and the undefeated Kansas City Royals (6-0, 3-0 away) pay a visit to right-hander Trevor May and the Minnesota Twins (1-5, 0-0 home) in the first game of a three-game series from Target Field in Minneapolis, MN at 4:10 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - North.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -117.

Twins Home Opener
The Royals were a great Cinderella story last season ending the longest post-season drought of any team in any major North American sport and then falling one win shy of being crowned World Champions. However, most oddsmakers are looking for regression this season with the posted Kansas City win total before the year suggesting around a .500 finish, and yet the Royals are off to their best start in 12 years at a perfect 6-0!

The Twins on the other hand finished dead last in the American League Central last season at 70-92, a full 19 games behind the wild card Royals and 20 games behind the division champion Detroit Tigers. Not much is expected from the Twins this season either, as they are expected to be in contention for the worst record in baseball, and unfortunately they have obliged so far by being the losing MLB picks in five of their first six games.

Those games were all on the road though so at least there should be a bit of a festive atmosphere in Minnesota today with this being the Twins’ home opener.

Duffy Has Shined vs. Minnesota
Duffy was a revelation last season despite an extremely deceptive 9-12 record, as he finished the season with a 2.53 ERA and 1.11 WHIP while yielding just a .209 batting average. Duffy’s peripherals suggest those number were anomalous though as he had just 113 strikeouts vs. 53 walks in 149.1 innings, and further evidence of that was his first start vs. the Chicago White Sox Wednesday when he allowed five earned runs in five innings.

However, Duffy has pitched well vs. the Twins and he is facing a struggling lineup, so he could regain his good form in this start.

Duffy has faced Minnesota nine times since coming up to the Majors Leagues in 2011 including seven starts, and he is 3-1 with a 2.09 ERA against the Twins while never allowing more than three earned runs in any outing. Furthermore, he allowed three earned runs in his first career start against them in 2011 and has allowed two earned runs or less in all six starts since then, including allowing a grand total of five earned runs in four starts vs. Minnesota last year.

And Duffy now gets to face a Minnesota lineup that is averaging a woeful 2.17 runs per game with a team batting average of .197 through the early going! The Twins have hit just one home run as a team and are ranked dead last in the majors in team OPS at .515.

May Replaces Nolasco in Rotation
May is taking the rotation spot of Ricky Nolasco for Minnesota, with the latter placed on the Disabled List with an elbow injury. And the Twins may have to rely on May for a while with a short-handed starting rotation, as Ervin Santana is also suspended for the first half of the season after a positive drug test.

Thus May now gets the chance to fulfill the potential that the Twins’ brass sees in him, which was something he could not do in the train-wreck that was his first call-up to the majors last season when he posted an ugly 7.88 ERA and 1.77 WHIP in 45.2 innings over 10 appearances including nine starts. May actually showed nice stuff with 44 strikeouts in those 45.2 big league innings, but he had poor command with 22 walks.

May did have a nice spring though after showing a bit of improvement while allowing three runs or less in four of his last five starts last year, and if he can continue to improve his control like he seemed to do during the spring, then he could prove to be serviceable.

Trending ‘under’ Inside Division
The ‘under’ is now 5-2 in Duffy’s seven career starts vs. Minnesota and he has generally done a good job of containing opposing offenses inside the division, with the ‘under’ going 9-3 in his last 12 starts inside the AL Central.

Given the state of the Minnesota offense right now, there is really no reason to expect anything different here so look for another ‘under’ when Kansas City serves as the opponent in the Twins’ home opener on Monday.

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MLB Pick: Royals, Twins ‘under’ 8½ (-117)

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