The Twins are gunning for the three-game sweep this afternoon, as they wrap up their series against Minnesota as the MLB odds-on favorites. Let's examine this matchup.
As of now, the Twins, now at 57-56 for the season, are solid -130 ML favorites on the MLB odds board right now, with some sites offering a line of -125 and others going as high as -135.
A glance at a game's total can sometimes give you a good hint into what to expect, and at this time we see the O/U all the way up at nine runs. That means odds makers are expecting to see a lot of offense in this one, which isn't all that surprising considering these two starter pitchers have a combined ERA of over nine runs. Ouch.
Minnesota Twins (Ervin Santana)
Yesterday was a lot of fun for the Twins, as they smacked Nick Martinez and the rest of the Rangers around in an emphatic 11-1 victory. Miguel Sano slugged two homers and racked up five RBIs, and Kyle Gibson and the Minnesota bullpen were solid throughout his start, holding Texas to just five hits in total.
Today we have Santana toeing the rubber, and at first sight his numbers have been horrific. He's 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.44 WHIP, and in his latest start he allowed 10 hits and eight earned runs over just 2 and 1/3 innings of work. Santana has been shelled badly in two of his last three assignments, and that has drastically hurt this overall numbers; we shouldn't lose sight of the fact the right-hander has actually looked decent, at the very least, in at least four starts this season. He's showed some good signs.
We know the Rangers bring a potent lineup to the table with all of those great left-handed hitters, so Santana really needs a good start in order to settle in and find success. Will he able to be the guiding force in a series-clinching victory?
Texas Rangers (Chi Chi Gonzalez)
The Rangers are hoping to avoid a sweep tonight, and it's safe to say the last week or so has been very rough for the ballclub. They've lost four of their last five games to fall to 55-57 on the year, yet they still find themselves just 5.5 games back of first place in the division. What that means is there's still plenty of motivation for Texas to get back to winning.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, it's tough to trust Gonzalez all that much, as he's been getting hit a lot harder in his most recent starts. Since opening the season by posting four straight starts in which he allowed two or fewer earned runs (0.90 ERA), the right-hander has seen his ERA rise to 3.74.
The regression has come for Gonzalez, and it's not going to get much easier against a pretty hot Minnesota offense today.
It's a little chalky, but we feel like the Twins are once again in a great position to win. It's a victory that would give them a sweep of the Rangers, and we know they're still fighting desperately in hopes of making the postseason.
Minnesota has dominated this series so far and look to have the pitching edge today too. Yes, Santana has been rocked a few times this season, but he's also had some amazing starts, and it's not like the Texas offense has been clicking at all lately. Meanwhile, Gonzalez is starting to see some serious regression after his good major league start, and the Twins bats just exploded behind the production of Sano and company.
So, with our MLB picks, we're liking the look of the Twins at this price, so we'll back them to sweep this afternoon.
MLB Pick: Minnesota Twins -120 at Bookmaker