Kansas City (Bannister) at Minnesota (Liriano)
Recommendation: Minnesota Run-Line -145
The Twins have been giving Francisco Liriano extra rest over the last month, and the results have been nothing short of spectacular. Instead of going every five days, Liriano has started only once a week since early August. He’s 6-0 with a 2.17 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 58 innings since the All Star break. Liriano’s quote about the extra rest: “I feel way better.” Liriano dominated the Royals in his lone previous start against them this year, throwing seven shutout innings while allowing only three baserunners. He’s also thrown seven scoreless innings in three of his last four starts at Target Field. Facing a KC squad that has lost nine of their last eleven on the highway, expect continued success from the Twins ace tonight. Brian Bannister is on the other end of the pitching spectrum from Liriano. He’s coming off the DL after missing the last month with rotator cuff tendinitis, following an 0-6 mark in his previous seven starts. Bannister has the second highest ERA in the majors for a pitcher with at least 20 starts this year. He’s also 1-5 with a 6.35 ERA in his last eight tries against Minnesota. His strict pitch count tonight will allow ample opportunity for Twins fireworks against KC’s suspect bullpen, making the run-line the preferred choice here.