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Thursday’s Free Sports Pick: Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins

Minnesota Twins (-127) over Kansas City Royals

Analysis: Kansas City arrives in town with a scuffling offense that is batting just .258 with a .308 on base percentage this season (3.9 runs per game), including hitting .243 with a .297 on base percentage versus division opponents (3.4 runs per game) and .257 with a .304 on base percentage over the last ten days (3.3 runs per game).  The Royals now face Minnesota right-hander Sam Deduno, who possesses a solid skill set with the requisite “stuff” to succeed at this level.  Indeed, Deduno is 3-2 with a 3.72 ERA and 1.34 WHIP this season, including going 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 1.00 WHIP at home.  Deduno’s success is predicated upon an elite groundball profile (61% this season), together with improved control over previous seasons (3 BB in 14 IP at home).  Deduno is also supported by an outstanding Minnesota bullpen that owns a 2.88 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 2013, including a 2.90 ERA and 1.22 WHIP versus division opponents and a 2.92 ERA and 1.17 WHIP at home.  Let’s also note that Deduno is a perfect 2-0 with a career 0.73 ERA and 1.21 WHIP versus the Royals, including a six-inning shutout earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound in terrible form as evidenced by his 6.90 ERA and 1.78 WHIP over his last three outings, including allowing 13 runs on 19 hits and 9 walks in 15.7 innings of work.  Overall, Guthrie owns a pedestrian 4.20 ERA and 1.41 WHIP this season, including a 4.50 ERA and 1.60 WHIP on the road and a 4.41 ERA and 1.50 WHIP at night.  Moreover, Guthrie has allowed a combined ten earned runs on sixteen hits and seven walks in his last 17.7 innings pitched against the Twins.  Guthrie is further hampered by an imploding Kansas City bullpen that enters tonight’s game with a 5.09 ERA and 1.48 WHIP over its last seven games (23 IP; 13 ER; 24 H; 4 HR).  I should also note that Joe Mauer is 6-for-16 (.375) against Guthrie, while Justin Morneau is 6-for-19 (.316).  With Sam Deduno standing at a perfect 7-0 (+8.1 units) in home night games over the last two seasons, take the Twins and invest with confidence.

I am a profitable 219-166-5 (57.6%) on my free sports picks after Wednesday’s loss on the Atlanta Braves.  Assuming you risked 1 unit per selection, a $500 sports investor would be up over $14,800 since June 7, 2007.

Samuel Deduno - Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins

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