The Twins became the last Major League team to win a game last night and they now have a good chance to make it two straight at a nice price. The Angels have not hit southpaws well at all so take Minnesota Thursday.
There could be a nice upset in store on the MLB odds in a Thursday matinee when Dan Haren and the Los Angeles Angels (2-3 overall, 1-1 away) again take on Francisco Liriano and the Minnesota Twins (1-4 overall, 1-1 home) as the teams wrap up a three-game series from Target Field in Minneapolis, MN at 1:10 ET.
The current odds at 5 Dimes have Minnesota as a nice +140 underdog for this contest.
The Twins became the last Major League team to win a game when they rallied late to defeat the Angels 6-5 here last night, finally breaking into the win column after getting swept in a series opening three-game series by the Baltimore Orioles and losing the series opener here. Minnesota is not the only 1-4 team in the American League Central, as it is tied with the Cleveland Indians three games behind the first-place Detroit Tigers in the early going.
Minnesota pounded out nine hits last night and scored three runs in the seventh inning to overcome a 5-3 deficit and get the victory. Getting rid of that goose egg in the win column should at least have the Twins in a better frame of mind today, and we would not be at all surprised if they continue to improve offensively vs. Haren, who was shaky in his first start and has not pitched well in this stadium.
Granted, Liriano was shaky himself as he was touched up for five earned runs and eight hits by the Orioles in his seasonal debut. However, the southpaw was very solid during spring training and his velocity has been fine, so we are looking for a better bounce-back effort today vs. an Angels’ lineup that has struggled vs. left-handed pitching in the early going, as Los Angeles is batting .182 vs. southpaws while averaging 1.17 runs per nine innings against them.
If Liriano is in need of relief, the Minnesota bullpen has been fine thus far posting a 2.70 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 13.1 relief innings.
The Angels had high hoped coming into this season due to a strong starting pitching staff, but all of their starters have struggled so far, and at 2-3, the Halos are in last place in the American League West, although only 1½ games behind the first-place Texas Rangers.
Now Haren has had a history of hot April starts in the past, but he did not pitch well in his first start vs. the Kansas City Royals on Saturday as he surrendered five runs and a whopping 11 hits in only 5.1 innings, and also keep in mind that Haren also allowed double-digit hit totals in each of his two career starts here in Target Field, allowing a total of 10 earned runs and 21 hits in 13 innings over those two outings!
Believe it of not, Saturday’s start marked the eighth time since the Angels acquired Haren in the middle of the season two years ago that he has allowed double-digits in hits, so while he can be dominant, he has also struggled with some inconsistency at times, and his history at Target Field is not encouraging.
Sum this all together and the Twins appear to offer nice value at this home underdog price.
MLB Pick: Twins +140