Twins vs. Rays: Surprisingly Enough Pick The Under In This AL Matchup

Minnesota Twins

Charles Stark

Friday, August 5, 2016 2:21 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 5, 2016 2:21 PM UTC

When it comes to American league baseball my radar is always up when the total for a game is below eight. Today we have that scenario in Tampa Bay when the Minnesota Twins visit the Rays. With both pitchers coming in with losing records we need to really dig into the numbers for our MLB pick.

Minnesota Twins vs Tampa Bay Rays
Odds makers have come out with the total for this game at 7.5 with higher juice on under the total at most places. For my MLB pick in this contest, I'm going to back under the total -120 like at Heritage. Both of these pitchers come in with a losing records but MLB odds makers have their reasons for setting this total so low in this American League matchup.


Minnesota Twins
Ervin Santana gets the start for Minnesota and comes in with a 3.66 ERA, 1.25 whip, and 4-9 record. Despite his poor record he has been exceptional this season and in his last eight games he has been extremely good which makes this total start make some sense. In his last five starts he has allowed just seven total earned runs in about 36 innings of work, but what really stood out for me was a solid game at Detroit, who is among the best hitting teams in baseball, allowing one earned run in seven innings. 

This game should have a lot of people taking a hard look at the total considering the fact Minnesota has been hitting the cover off the ball and have gone six straight games in which their ballgames finished well over this total. In fact, in eight out of their last 10 games they have been over this total but Tampa Bay has kind of been the opposite so something has to give. I think Minnesota at the plate has a tough matchup today against Tampa Bay starter Blake Snell who has also been pitching extremely well as of late. Although I believe Minnesota is an underrated offense ranking in the middle of the league in a few key categories like runs, hits per game, and batting average, I think they won't be as productive today.


Tampa Bay Rays
Blake Snell takes the mound for the Rays and comes in with a home 4.26 ERA with batters hitting .287 against him in Tampa Bay. While those numbers don't scream to back him on an under play especially considering the high juice, when we look closer at his numbers he has pitched extremely well this season with an overall 3.08 ERA and 1.43 whip. Looking closer at his last 10 games he has been borderline lights out allowing at most four earned runs, versus Boston no less just once, and in his last five games, he has allowed a total of just nine earned runs in almost 30 innings of work. 

I would expect for his home numbers to start to catch up with his overall body of work this season. At the plate, while Minnesota has been finishing games with high totals Tampa Bay has been doing the opposite. They have only been over today's total of 7.5 just three times in their last 10 games which make sense as they rank in the bottom of the league in most offensive categories. Their power numbers are not horrible but overall they rank 25th in runs scored per game, 28th in hits per game, and 29th in batting average. Don't expect them to suddenly break out the lumber today.


Free MLB Pick: Under 7.5 -120 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
July Record: 13-9
August Record: 3-1

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