Minnesota Twins (48-25, first in the AL Central) vs. Kansas City Royals (25-49, fifth in the AL Central)
Kansas City, Kansas; Thursday, 8:15 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Twins: Jake Odorizzi (10-2, 2.24 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 85 strikeouts) Royals: Glenn Sparkman (1-3, 4.01 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 24 strikeouts)
BOTTOM LINE: Division rivals Kansas City and Minnesota will play on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals are 11-18 against teams from the AL Central. Kansas City has slugged .403 this season. Jorge Soler leads the club with a .522 slugging percentage, including 37 extra-base hits and 20 home runs.
The Twins have gone 16-7 against division opponents. The Minnesota pitching staff as a whole has an ERA of 3.94. Jake Odorizzi leads the team with a 2.24 earned run average. This is the first meeting of the season for these two teams.
TOP PERFORMERS: Soler leads the Royals with 37 extra base hits and is batting .243. Whit Merrifield has 14 hits and is batting .318 over the last 10 games for Kansas City.
Eddie Rosario leads the Twins with 53 RBIs and is batting .269. Max Kepler is 14-for-40 with four doubles, four home runs and 10 RBIs over the last 10 games for Minnesota.
LAST 10 GAMES: Royals: 5-5, .238 batting average, 3.62 ERA, outscored opponents by five runs
Twins: 6-4, .277 batting average, 3.55 ERA, outscored opponents by eight runs
Royals Injuries: Trevor Oaks: 60-day IL (hip), Jesse Hahn: 60-day IL (elbow), Adalberto Mondesi: day-to-day (groin), Hunter Dozier: 10-day IL (chest), Salvador Perez: 60-day IL (elbow).
Twins Injuries: Adalberto Mejia: 60-day IL (calf), Byron Buxton: 10-day IL (wrist), Marwin Gonzalez: 10-day IL (hamstring), Ehire Adrianza: 10-day IL (abdominal).