MLB Pick On Twins & Orioles To Stay ‘Under’ The Total In Baltimore

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, April 7, 2016 3:11 PM GMT

Thursday, Apr. 7, 2016 3:11 PM GMT

The Orioles have won the first two games of their season-opening three-game series with the Twins in a couple of low scoring affairs, and expect another ‘under’ as MLB pick on Thursday.

 

After a couple of low scoring games in the first two games of this series, look for more of the same in the finale Thursday night when Phil Hughes and the Minnesota Twins (0-2, 0-2 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez and the Baltimore Orioles (2-0, 2-0 home) at Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD at 7:05 ET in a game televised nationally on MLB Network. The posted total at Heritage Sports is 8½ or this contest with the current MLB odds boards on the ‘under’ set at +100.

Orioles Looking for the Sweep
Each of the first two games of this series has been well-pitched on both sides with the home-standing Orioles fortunate enough to emerge triumphant both times. First, Baltimore scored a walk-off run in the ninth inning to win the opener 3-2 on Monday, and then they won 4-2 last night with starter Yovani Gallardo looking good in his Oriole debut.

You may recall that the Twins were surprising MLB picks last season finishing second in the American League Central at 83-79 after finishing in last place the previous season, but now they are trying to avoid getting swept in their opening series for the second straight year. In fact, Minnesota was slow out of the gate last year beginning the season 1-6 before going a commendable 82-73 the rest of the way.

 

Hughes Primed for Bounce-Back Season?
Hughes had a breakthrough season for the Twins two years ago when he set the Major League record for strikeout to walk ratio with 186 strikeouts vs. just 16 walks in 209.2 innings, but he regressed as the staff ace last year going 11-9 with a 4.40 ERA despite the team performing much better as a whole. However, Hughes was a bit overweight last year and he reported to camp in better shape this season.

He proceeded to put up great numbers during spring training, and while we realize those numbers are meaningless, the bigger take-away is that he looks primed to return to his form of two years ago, where in a addition to his ridiculously great control he also went 16-10 for a last place team that won just 70 games overall and posted a 3.52 ERA.

Hughes has also had good success vs. the Orioles in his three starts against them since leaving the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium and joining the Twins two years ago, allowing two earned runs or less on all three occasions while walking just one Baltimore batter in 20.2 innings.

 

Disappointing Baltimore Offense
Now, the Orioles were third in the Major League with 217 home runs last year while average 4.40 runs per game while being even better offensively here in Camden Yards, and they brought back the core of that lineup while also adding another nice bat in Pedro Alvarez. Yet, the Orioles have been held in check by Minnesota pitching this series, and it has been the Baltimore pitching that has keyed the first two wins.

The Orioles now look to keep that going with Jimenez, who was solid if not spectacular in his first season in Baltimore last year going 12-10 with a 4.11 ERA and 168 strikeouts vs. 68 walks in 184 innings. However, he was better here at home going 6-2 with a 3.68 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, and he has always pitched well vs. the Twins going 4-3 with a 2.72 ERA in nine career games against them. Now, he gets to face a Minnesota lineup batting .182 through two games.

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An ‘under’ Series Recently
Finally, the two ‘unders’ in this series so far bring it to 5-0 in the last five head-to-head meetings between these teams. The ‘under’ is also 8-2-3 in the Twins’ last 13 road games vs. right-handed starters, as well as 5-1 in Jimenez’s last six starts on grass for Baltimore.

Given the ability of the starting pitchers today and how the offenses have struggled for the most part in this series, expect those ‘under’ patterns to continue when Minnesota wraps up its three-game series at Baltimore on Thursday.

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Free MLB Pick: ‘under’ 8.5 (-105)
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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