Twins-Tigers: Pitching Duel Likely Between Berrios & Boyd

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 4:10 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jun. 12, 2018 4:10 PM UTC

Neither the Twins nor Tigers are very good this season, but it’s two good pitchers on the mound Wednesday in game No. 2 of their series from Motown.

Minnesota (29-32-2 O/U) at Detroit (29-37-2 O/U)Free MLB Pick: Under (& Twins)Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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We tend to focus more on previewing the better teams around baseball here at SBR, but for Wednesday let’s look at two below-.500 clubs in the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers. It’s the second of a three-game set at Comerica Park with a first pitch of 7:10 p.m. ET.

This also gives me a chance to address the putrid AL Central, which might be baseball’s worst division since the 1994 AL West. Of course, that was the year of the players’ strike that wiped out the postseason. That might have saved MLB from some embarrassment because the first-place team in the AL West at the time of the strike was Texas at 52-62.

As of this writing, the Indians are the only team above .500 in the AL Central with every other team at least five games below. The White Sox and Royals are two of the worst teams in baseball. The Indians should run away with the Central, and they have been beating up on division foes at 16-9 but have a losing record against the AL East and West.

The Twins are a big disappointment after playing in the Wild-Card Game last season but have been hammered by injuries. The Tigers just picked No. 1 overall in the MLB Amateur Draft but have overachieved in 2018 after finishing 64-98 in 2017. That cost manager Brad Ausmus his job and former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has done well in his first season in Detroit. The Tigers are well above .500 at home. However, they lost superstar Miguel Cabrera to a torn biceps tendon on Tuesday and the former Triple Crown winner will have season-ending surgery.

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José Berríos, appreciating Thompson barely getting a piece of his nasty 2 strike curveball (Thompson K'd on a heater the next pitch). pic.twitter.com/twQAq7rQVB

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 7, 2018
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Probable Pitchers: Berrios vs. Boyd

It’s young Minnesota ace Jose Berrios (7-5, 3.66) on the bump. The 24-year-old Puerto Rican could be an All-Star – each team is guaranteed at least one – and comes off his AL-leading second complete game of the season, allowing two runs and striking out 10 with no walks against the White Sox. Berrios has allowed more than two earned just once in his past five to see his ERA drop from 4.50. Berrios has 44 strikeouts and four walks in 37 2/3 innings over that span and his five straight starts of at least six innings is a career high. He has a terrific 84:14 K:BB ratio in his 83.2 innings.

Berrios beat the visiting Tigers on May 21, surrendering two runs and three hits over eight. Nicholas Castellanos is 5-for-10 career off Berrios with a homer. James McCann is 5-for-11 with two homers. Jeimer Candelario, who is having a breakout season, is 0-for-1 with a strikeout.

Detroit counters with lefty Matthew Boyd (4-4, 3.20), who only gets an average of 3.67 runs per support this year. He won in Boston last Thursday, allowing two runs and four hits over 6.1 innings. It certainly helped that Boyd took the mound in the bottom of the first already up 5-0. Batters are hitting just .205 off him this year, although he can get a bit wild at times with 26 walks over 70.1 innings. Left-handed hitters are batting .182 (10-for-55) off him.

Boyd lost at the Twins on May 22, lasting four innings and allowing two runs with four walks. Boyd left with a left oblique spasm after walking his first two batters in the fifth. He would turn out to be OK. Brian Dozier is 13-for-32 off Boyd career with three doubles and three homers. Eduardo Escobar, who leads the Twins in just about every offensive category and deserves to be an All-Star, is 4-for-22 off Boyd with two homers. Miguel Sano has 18 at-bats off Boyd and 12 have ended in a strikeout.

  • Under is 3-1-1 in Berrios' last 5 starts overall.
  • Under is 4-1 in Tigers last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter.
  • Under is 4-0 in Boyd’s last 4 starts vs. American League Central.

The Twins struggle against left-handers with the ‘under’ hitting in seven straight games vs. a southpaw (6-10 overall record). The ‘under’ is 6-2 in Boyd’s past eight overall. That’s the Wednesday MLB pick. And with Cabrera now out, a smaller lean to Minnesota on the side.

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