For Saturday's major league baseball play we head to Minnesota as the Twins take on the Los Angeles Angels. For one of my MLB picks I'm going to back under the total between these two teams in what should be a great game.
MLB oddsmakers came out with this line of eight for the total and across the board is where this number still remains. There is some pretty good MLB odds on taking the under like at Pinnacle where you get under the total of eight at +104.
Los Angeles Angels
Garrett Richards takes the mound for the Angels with a 3.81 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 148 strikeouts, and a 13-11 record. On the road he has not pitched well this year with an ERA just below 4.90 and batters hitting over .280 against him. This does not bode well against a Minnesota team that statistically is much better on the offensive side at home. Still, in his last four road starts he has pitched decent enough and today should help us get under this total. In those last four road starts he allowed four runs, three runs, three runs, and four runs to four good home hitting teams in the Astros, Royals, Indians, and a much better second half team in the Mariners. Richards has pitched just once against Minnesota this season and he was solid allowing just three earned runs in eight innings.
Offensively Los Angeles is ranked 25th in runs scored per game at 4.01, 26th in OPS at .695, and rank last in the major leagues in batting average hitting just .243 as a team. I've said it a couple times this season I am really surprised at the lack of offense the Angels have produced with the talent they have. It just goes to show that one, or even two guys can't do it all. Although they have swung the bats a little bit better, and let me stress the little bit, the last few games I expect them to have their struggles today at the plate.
Kyle Gibson gets the start for Minnesota and comes in with a 3.71 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 126 strikeouts, and a 10-10 record. As long as he is not pitching against the Yankees or the Blue Jays he has been fine and is coming off very solid start against the White Sox allowing zero earned runs off of five hits in just over seven innings. At home he has been extremely sharp with a 6-4 record, 3.02 ERA, and batters hitting just over .250 against him. That is the guts of this play is the fact that he has been so solid at home, look for him to keep the Angels in check and bounce back from the last time he pitched against them allowing five earned runs in five innings.
Minnesota ranks 11th in runs scored per game at 4.36, 23rd in OPS at .707, and 24th in batting average hitting .249 as a team. They have one of the biggest disparities on the offensive side between their home and away statistics. They go from hitting .231 on the road to .267 at home, and all their important offensive statistics go up in Minnesota. If they are able to get into the playoffs they're going to be a very difficult team to beat in Target Field. Holding them down today will be a difficult job for Richards, but because he has pitched well on the road recently I'm going to back him to hold the Twins down just enough.
Both of these teams are in the wild card hunt so these games are extremely important. It looks to me we have an underrated pitching matchup and the oddsmakers have overvalued the offenses on the total a little bit.
This is a pretty interesting matchup today in Minnesota and there a lot of implications as these two battle to make the playoffs. I like for both of these pitchers to come out strong and have good performances to keep this game well under the total. Look for something around 4-2 with the Twins most likely coming out on top, and for one of your MLB picks I suggest backing under the total of eight.
MLB Picks: 'Under' 8 at Pinnacle