Stephen Nover Free Friday MLB Play
Minnesota vs. Kansas City,
04/28/2017 20:15 EDT
Money Line: -124 Kansas City
How much do I want to fade Kyle Gibson? Enough to lay a price with the Royals, who are coming an 0-7 road trip and are the lowest-scoring team in the majors.
Gibson is in the argument for worst starting pitcher in the majors. He was brutal last season going 6-11 with a 5.07 ERA and he has the second-highest ERA (9.00) of starting pitchers who have thrown at least 17 innings this year. The 0-3 Gibson couldn't reach the fourth inning against the Tigers in his last start this past Sunday giving up seven runs before departing. He's surrendered 17 runs in 17 innings.
The Twins have been patient with Gibson because he was their first-round picks in 2009. They had high hopes for him. But he is who he is. He's 32-41 lifetime with a 4.72 ERA and getting worse not better as the league is familiar with him.
Gibson is a sinkerball pitcher. But he hasn't been getting ground ball outs the past two seasons. His fly ball rate of 30.2 percent this season would be a career-high. Opponents are batting an insane .467 with an on-base plus slugging percentage of 1.343 when facing Gibson the second time through the order. Gibson's stuff is totally ineffective.
Going against Gibson is the biggest reason why I'm involved in this game. There are other factors, though. The Royals are a good home team. That's held up this season where they have a winning record. The Twins are a bad road club losers of 22 of their past 32 away contests.
Royals starter Ian Kennedy is off to an excellent start even if his record is 0-2. He has a 2.08 ERA. Kennedy made five starts against the Twins last season and went 3-0 with a 2.86 ERA. Kansas City is 5-1 the past six times Kennedy has faced Minnesota.
The Royals need to turn things around now at home to regain the faith of their fans. This is a team, remember, that won the World Series just two years ago and remains strong defensively. The Royals really want payback, too, after the Twins swept them in Minnesota to begin the season with two of those three defeats coming in blowout fashion.
The Royals dominated the Twins last season winning 15 of 19, including going 9-1 at Kauffman Stadium.
Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon and Alcides Escobar are all too good of players to be batting .220 or less. The Royals are due to bust out - and they couldn't fnd an easier pitcher to do it against. The price is low enough to get involved.