Minnesota Twins (98-60) at Detroit Tigers (46-111)
MLB: Thursday, September 26th, 2019 at 1:10 pm ET (Comerica Park)
Line and Odds: Minnesota Twins -145/Detroit Tigers +125 Over/Under: 9
Free ESPN MLB Picks Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins clinched the AL Central title with their 5-1 win over the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland’s 8-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox. It is the Twins’ first AL Central title since 2010. Minnesota has a 5 game lead over the Cleveland Indians in the AL-Central race, with just 4 games left in the season for both teams. The Twins are the 3rd team in the American League to win their division and clinch a spot in the postseason, this year. They have played at a high level in recent times, going 9-3 in their last 12 baseball games. Minnesota is one of the best baseball teams in the MLB and they are the best road team in baseball. Minnesota’s road record of 52-25 is the best mark in the Major Leagues.
The Twins’ +175 run differential is the fourth highest in the MLB. The only teams with a higher run differential are the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Yankees. Rocco Baldelli’s club is the #3 favorite to win the American League, clocking in at +800 behind the Astros and Yankees. Minnesota is pretty much locked in to their #3 spot in the AL playoffs, because they are unable to catch the Astros and Yankees in the AL standings. After the party the Twins had in the locker room combined with the lack of potential upward movement, it’s hard to imagine Minnesota will be at their best today.
The Minnesota Twins are led by their powerful bats. The Twins average 5.79 runs per game, ranking 2nd in runs scored. They’ve hit for 17.47 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 4.68 runs per game. They allow opposing teams to hit for 14.66 total bases per game, ranking 13th in total bases allowed. Minnesota’s defense ranks 10th in on base plus slugging percentage against, allowing opponents an OPS of .734.
The Detroit Tigers have had a terrible season this year. However, there is some good news for Detroit this week. With yesterday’s results, the Tigers have clinched the #1 draft pick in the 2020 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. As much competition as the Royals, Orioles, and Marlins offered, the Tigers were able to finish at the bottom of the MLB totem pole. Detroit’s 46-111 record is the worst in all of baseball. They are currently 51.5 games out of first-place in the AL Central. The Tigers also own the worst run differential in baseball at -320 on the year. The only other team in the Majors with a run differential of -200 or worse is the Baltimore Orioles (-259). Obviously, there is no hope of postseason play for Detroit. 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 22-58.
The Detroit offense has been among the worst in baseball. The Tigers score just 3.63 runs per game, which ranks them 30th out of 30 MLB teams in scoring. They rank 29th in total bases per game, hitting for 13.38 total bases per outing. Detroit also ranks 29th in on base plus slugging percentage with an OPS of .682. The Tigers have been slightly better defensively, but their defense has also been poor. Detroit has given up 5.67 runs per game, ranking 28th 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. Jordan Zimmermann makes today’s start for the Detroit Tigers. Zimmermann, like almost everyone else on the Tigers roster, has had a tough season. He has pitched 107 and 2/3 innings on 22 starts in 2019. He has an awful 1-12 record with a 6.85 ERA. Zimmermann has a 1.505 WHIP, 3.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and 4.86 FIP. He has allowed 11.5 hits, 1.6 home runs, and 6.94 runs per 9 innings.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Minnesota’s last 20 games.
Minnesota is 7-1 SU in their last 8 games against Detroit.
Minnesota is 16-3 SU in their last 19 games on the road.
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Detroit’s last 9 games.
Detroit is 1-7 SU in their last 8 games.
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Detroit’s last 11 games against Minnesota.
ESPN MLB Scores Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers
I’m taking the Detroit Tigers +1.5 (-120) in this matchup. I’ve gone this route the past 2 games and it hasn’t worked out for me. However, I’m willing to go back to this well one more time. Zimmermann’s FIP is about 2 runs lower than his ERA, which means he has pitched much better as an individual when defense is factored out. I do not expect to get a sharp, focused Minnesota team today. They will be tinkering with the pitching rotation to get everything situated for the playoffs. The Twins will not be putting up one of their best starters or backing up a quality starter with their best bullpen arms. It’s all about getting ready for the postseason. Minnesota has very little to play for at this point, and they’re coming off of a big party celebrating AL Central title. It’s hard to imagine that they will be at their best in a noon road game after what happened last night. I’m happy to take the home team +1.5 runs, against a team who isn’t really interested in playing this game. Take Detroit on the runline.