The Troubled Twins Duel the Surging Athletics
The Twins will host the second game against the Oakland Athletics in a three-game series. Minnesota has been off to a dreadful start with a losing record of 12-24. Meanwhile, the Athletics are 24-16 on the year and hold the number 1 spot in the AL West.
This matchup will be held in Minnesota, where it will be about 64 degrees outside and one mile per hour winds. It will be nationally televised on Fox Sports 1 at 4:05 P.M. on Saturday evening.
The Athletics have been extremely good on the road this year, winning 11 games versus losing 5. The Twins have been equally bad this year at home and on the road. They are 6-12 in both circumstances.
The Minnesota Twins will search for answers in hopes of ending their 5 game losing skid. The Athletics will continue to play fundamental baseball and try to secure their sixth win in 8 games. Cole Irvin is taking the mound for the A’s, and Jose Berrios will be pitching for the Twins.
The Twins Need To Find Different Ways to Win
When you look at the Twins batting order and pitching staff on the stat sheet, you would probably guess they have a winning record. Surprisingly, you would be incorrect. The Twins have been in a drought all year long and have the talent and pieces to work with, but haven’t been able to pull out many victories.
They are currently 12-24, good for last in the AL Central. On offense, the Twins are exactly 9th in the MLB in runs, hits, average, and home runs. That is in the top third percent of the entire majors, but they haven’t been able to produce their runs at the right time.
The pitching staff has been subpar this year, ranking in the bottom half of all major statistical categories. Jose Berrios will be throwing tonight, as he has had a decent season with a 3.49 ERA and a 3-2 record. The righty was able to throw six hitless innings back in the beginning of April.
As for the offense, the Twins have been pretty consistent overall. Last night, Josh Donaldson blasted a solo bomb for the Twins only run of the night. So far, Max Kepler and Miguel Sano have been the rough spots for the twins, each batting .200 or below.
Nelson Cruz has been solid with an average of .286 and 9 home runs. First baseman Wellington Astudillo has been hitting .316 this season and has been a pleasant surprise. The Twins will continue to be without star player Byron Buxton tonight as he waits on the 10-day injured list with a hip strain.
The Athletics Continue to Play Great Overall Baseball
The Oakland Athletics always seem to be a surprise to me every year. They are always able to be at the top of the standings, even without any big names rostered. The A’s are 6-4 in their last 10 and have played solid, steady baseball.
Against the Twins Friday night, they smashed 4 home runs off of the pitchers from Minnesota. It allowed them to win the game easily 6-4. Their overall numbers for pitching and hitting have been in the middle of the road all year, but they are 4th in total home runs hit in the majors.
Ramon Laureano, Mark Canha, Stephon Piscotty, and Sean Murphy all hit dingers last night against Matt Shoemaker and Derek Law of the Twins. The top three hitters in the lineup for the A’s are batting below .250, but this team is still finding ways to win.
Cole Irvin will be on the bump tonight. He has pitched 41 total innings and tallied a 3.29 ERA to go along with a 3-4 record. The southpaw could potentially struggle against this powerful Twins offense because he has very little experience in the big leagues.
Pick and Prediction:
This nationally televised contest will be a tough fight until the end. I think the Twins have a considerably better matchup against Cole Irvin than the Athletics do against Jose Berrios.
I’m going to take the Twins in this one, and they will end their losing streak tonight. Nelson Cruz and Josh Donaldson will both launch home runs propelling the Twins to victory.