Royals v Brewers
How will a return to Kansas City impact Zack Greinke’s psyche when his Milwaukee Brewers visit the Royals on Tuesday. Greinke, who has battled emotional issues throughout his career, will pitch in KC for the first time since leaving the club after the 2010 season (all told, he had seven seasons with the Royals; he is in his second in Milwaukee). Wherever he’s called home his thrown much better in his career: 51-28 with a 3.35 ERA at home versus 32-47 4.28 ERA on the road. So the question is whether his old home will feel enough like home for him to excel? I’m going to say yes for two reasons. The first is the difficulty the Royals have had scoring runs this year – they’re second-to-last in the American League. Second, even if Greinke falters a bit, his pitching opposition, Luis Mendoza, is on shaky ground. He is only getting this opportunity because Felipe Paulino was placed on the disabled list after his last start. His performance in starts this year is a poor 1-2 with a 6.08 ERA in five appearances. Greinke should have enough in this one so pick the Brewers at 1.65 instead of the Royals at 2.25.
Twins v Phillies
Take the hitters over the pitchers when the Minnesota Twins play host to the Philadelphia Phillies. Neither starting pitcher is one to put money on. The Twins Nick Blackburn is coming off his best start of the season (five innings, two runs on five hits against the Royals), but his stuff isn’t overpowering and requires no margin for error. He may be able to sneak by against weak Kansas City hitters, but they same is unlikely versus the Phillies. Kyle Kendrick isn’t much better. He’s 2-5 with a 4.44 ERA overall in 2012 and in his last appearance he allowed five runs on five walks and four hits. Before that game he did have a streak of six consecutive starts allowing two earned runs or fewer, but even if he returns to that form, the Phillies should enjoy more offence than usual as interleague play in an AL ballpark means they’ll get to use a designate hitter. This should compensate in term of run production even if Kendrick throws well. Back over 9.0 runs at 1.90 rather than the under at 1.90.