By Greg Dempson
While the Royals go for a three game sweep, the Twins hope to avoid getting swept twice at this early juncture of the season. After dropping three games at Baltimore and their first two at Kauffman Stadium, the Twins send Ricky Nolasco to the mound in this 2:15 ET start vs. Kansas City’s Edinson Volquez.
This is Nolasco’s first start of the season, he is 2–3 vs. the Royals in six starts with an ERA of with a 4.33. Getting his first win will a daunting task to say the least, as not only have the Twins been unsuccessful at Kansas City they are also battling one of the biggest homer umpires in John Hirschbeck. More on him later.
As for Volquez, he went 3–1 vs. the Twins last season winning both home starts while splitting two games at Target Field. In six games, (including five starts Volquez has an ERA of 1.96 vs. the Twins. This is his second start of the season, on opening day he held the Mets to 2 hits in 6 scoreless innings, striking out 5 while walking 3.
There’s No Place Like Home, There’s No Place Like Home
· This afternoon’s home plate umpire is John Hirschbeck, Jon loves this 8.5 inning games as the host team is 7 – 3 in his last 10 behind home plate in Royals’ games.
· The Twins are 2–8 in their last 10 with Hirschbeck calling balls and strikes.
· The host team, on a Sunday, is 24–5 when Hirschbeck is behind home plate.
· The last 29 times Hirschbeck has been behind home plate, the Royals are 21–8.
· To make matters worse for Minnesota, Volquez is 13–3 in his last 16 home starts.
· The Twins are 1–6 in Nolasco’s last seven starts plus the team is 23–52 in their last 75 road games vs. a team with a home winning percentage that’s greater than .600.
· Nolasco/Team have give up 5 or more runs in 4 of his last six starts and they are 1–6 in his last seven Sunday starts.
Twins vs Royals Pick
My Every Edge Sunday afternoon selection is on the Kansas City Royals laying 1 run at –111.