Minnesota Twins (97-60) at Detroit Tigers (46-110)
MLB: Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 at 6:40 pm ET (Comerica Park)
Line and Odds: Minnesota Twins -200/Detroit Tigers +179 Over/Under: 9.5
Free ESPN MLB Picks Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins
The Twins have their eyes set on winning the AL Central title. Minnesota holds a 4 game lead over the 2nd-place Cleveland Indians. Minnesota’s AL-Central clinching magic number at the moment is 2. According to ESPN and Baseball Reference, the Twins have a 99.9% or greater chance of making the playoffs (despite not having officially clinched an American League playoff spot). Minnesota had quite a start to the season, and they’ve been able to sustain it the whole year. Despite the numerous doubters the Twins had early in the year, they have proven their worth as an elite baseball team. Minnesota’s +171 run differential ranks 4th in the MLB, behind the Dodgers, Astros, and Yankees. The most impressive aspect of their season has been their road performance. Minnesota’s 51-25 road record is the best of any team in baseball.
The Minnesota Twins are led by their powerful bats. The Twins average 5.80 runs per game, ranking 2nd in runs scored. They’ve hit for 17.46 total bases per game, a mark that ranks them #1 in the MLB in total bases. Minnesota ranks 2nd in on base plus slugging percentage with an OPS of .832. Minnesota is statistically average from a pitching and fielding standpoint. The Twins rank 14th in runs allowed, giving up 4.71 runs per game. They allow opposing teams to hit for 14.73 total bases per game, ranking 14th in total bases allowed. Minnesota’s defense ranks 10th in on base plus slugging percentage against, allowing opponents an OPS of .737. The Minnesota Twins will send Randy Dobnak to the mound as today’s starting pitcher. The 24-year-old rookie will be making his 9th appearance in a Major League game. This will be the right-hander’s 5th start on the season. Dobnak has a 2.01 ERA, 1.388 WHIP, 3.35 FIP, and 3.40 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He allows 10.5 hits, 0.4 home runs, and 3.22 runs per 9 innings.
The Detroit Tigers and their fans probably just want the season to end. This 162-game season has seen very few wins for the Tigers. In a league with terrible teams like the Royals, Marlins, and Orioles, I think it’s fair to conclude that the Tigers are the worst of them all. Detroit’s 46-110 record is the worst in all of baseball. They are currently 50.5 games out of first-place in the AL Central. The Tigers also own the worst run differential in baseball at -316 on the year. The only other team in the Majors with a run differential of -200 or worse is the Baltimore Orioles (-258). Obviously, there is no hope of postseason play for Detroit. The players and coaches would like to finish the season strong (even if the fans would prefer more losses to secure better draft position). While Minnesota has been the best road team in baseball, the Tigers have been the worst home team in baseball. Detroit has the worst home record in the MLB at 22-57. It has been one of the worst home seasons the sport of baseball has seen in a long time.
The Detroit offense has been among the worst in baseball. The Tigers score just 3.65 runs per game, which ranks them 30th out of 30 MLB teams in scoring. They rank 29th in total bases per game, hitting for 13.44 total bases per outing. Detroit also ranks 29th in on base plus slugging percentage with an OPS of .685. The Tigers have been slightly better defensively, but their defense has also been poor. Detroit has given up 5.67 runs per game, ranking 27th in runs allowed. The Tigers allow opponents to hit for 16.87 total bases per game, which ranks Detroit 28th in total bases per outing. They rank 28th in on base plus slugging percentage against, allowing opponents to go for an OPS of .821. The Detroit Tigers will send pitcher Daniel Norris to the mound as today’s starter. Norris has had a rough season record-wise, going 3-14 in 28 starts. He has pitched in 141 and 1/3 innings with 31 pitching appearances (including 3 as a reliever). Norris has a 4.58 ERA, a 1.344 WHIP, and 3.16 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has allowed 9.7 hits, 1.6 home runs, and 4.78 runs per 9 innings.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Minnesota’s last 20 games.
Minnesota are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games against Detroit.
Minnesota are 15-3 SU in their last 18 games on the road.
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Detroit’s last 8 games.
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Detroit’s last 10 games against Minnesota.
Detroit is 5-14 SU in their last 19 games at home.
ESPN MLB Scores Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers
I’m taking the Detroit Tigers +1.5 (+110) in this contest. The key to this matchup is the amount of experience each of these starting pitchers have. Dobnak is a rookie with only 4 career starts. He has pitched only 22 and 1/3 innings in his Major League career. Dobnak has pitched well, but it’s hard to have faith in him as a giant favorite because the data on him is so limited. On the other hand, Daniel Norris has pitched for the entire season. His 4.78 runs allowed per 9 innings pitched looks really bad, but it’s pretty good when you consider his situation. According to Baseball Reference, the average starting pitcher would have a 5.79 RA9 when factoring in the level of defense behind him. Norris allows a full run fewer than the average starter would. Yesterday, the Tigers could only muster 2 runs against the Twins. I expect them to put up a few more runs in this meeting. The Tigers are a top 5 team in BABIP and the Twins are bottom 10 in BABIP against. Detroit batters will make contact and use their base running skills to get runs. I get +1.5 runs, the home field advantage, and better-than-even money. Take Detroit on the runline.