On Friday, Oskeim Sports provides a Free Sports Pick in Friday’s MLB game between the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals. Please check back daily for more free sports picks from Oskeim!
Kansas City southpaw Jason Vargas is in the midst of a breakout season, going 11-3 with a 2.29 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in fifteen starts. The 34-year-old is 6-1 with a 1.92 ERA and 1.06 WHIP at home, 7-3 with a 2.44 ERA and 1.08 WHIP at night, 3-1 with a 1.71 ERA and 1.26 WHIP versus division foes and 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA and 1.20 WHIP over his last three starts.
The Royals are 17-5 in Vargas’ last 22 home starts, 10-3 in his last thirteen starts against American League Central opponents, 16-5 in his last 21 starts during game 1 of a series and 20-7 in his last 27 starts overall.
Vargas is also 34-13 as a home favorite of -150 or less, 16-5 at night, 12-2 at home and 7-0 in the month of June over the last three seasons (team trends with Vargas on the mound). Let’s also note that he is 10-2 versus teams batting .260 or worse and 16-5 against foes with an on-base percentage of .330 or less over the last three years.
The surging left-hander is 6-4 with a career 3.80 ERA and 1.46 WHIP versus the Twins, including throwing eleven consecutive shutout innings against Minnesota in his last two outings. In contrast, Minnesota right-hander Ervin Santana is 6-9 with a career 4.51 ERA and 1.31 WHIP against the Royals.
Santana has allowed six earned runs on nine hits in his last 18.0 innings of work against Kansas City. The Twins are 1-7 in Santana’s last eight starts against Kansas City, including 0-4 in his last four outings at Kauffman Stadium. Meanwhile, the Royals are 6-1 in Vargas’ last seven starts against Minnesota and 9-3 in the last twelve home affairs in this series.
Santana toes the rubber with a 2.80 ERA in 2017, but the veteran’s peripherals suggest that his success has been based on a house of cards. Indeed, Santana owns a 4.58 FIP, 4.82 xFIP and 4.74 SIERA, together with walk (3.06 BB/9), strikeout (6.88 K/9) and home run (1.27 HR/9) rates trending in the wrong direction.
His misleading ERA is also a product of an unsustainable .208 BABIP (lifetime .282 BABIP) and a lucky 86.2% strand rate (career 73.1% LOB%). Let’s also note that the Twins are 8-21 in Santana’s last 29 starts following a quality start.
Look for Kansas City to improve to 8-0 in the month of June with Vargas toeing the rubber; take the Royals as Oskeim Sports’ Free Sports Pick for Friday, June 30.
Oskeim Sports’ Free Sports Pick for Friday: Kansas City Royals (-119)