Minnesota Twins (74-48) at Texas Rangers (60-62)
MLB: Saturday, August 17th, 2019 at 8:05 pm ET (Global Life Park in Arlington)
Line and Odds: Minnesota Twins -155/Texas Rangers +140 Over/Under: 11.5
Free ESPN MLB Picks Texas Rangers vs. Minnesota Twins
Minnesota ranks 2nd in scoring production, averaging 5.77 runs per game. Because of their high-powered offense, they rank 4th in the MLB in run differential. The explosiveness of the Twins offense is driven by their power. They hit home runs on 4.9% of their plate appearances, ranking them #1 in the MLB in home run percentage. The Twins are also #1 in terms of slugging percentage (.499) and isolated power (.229). Minnesota gets extra base hits on 10.3% of their plate appearances and 42.7% of their hits go for extra bases (both rank #1 in baseball). Minnesota ranks 4th in batting average, hitting for an average of .270. They are 6th in on base percentage (.337) and 2nd in OPS (.836). They’re able to match their power with the plate discipline to avoid strikeouts. Minnesota’s batting lineup ranks 4th in strikeout percentage (20.6%). As great as their batters have been this season, they do get into trouble when it comes to base running. The Twins rank 30th (out of 30 MLB teams) with a stolen base percentage of 55.6%.
The Twins give up 4.66 runs per game, which ranks them 11th in the MLB in runs allowed. The strength of the Twins pitching staff is the ability to limit their opponent’s power. Minnesota’s pitchers give up home runs on 3.2% of their opponents’ plate appearances, ranking 5th in opponents’ home run rate. They allow opponents to hit extra base hits on 8.0% of their plate appearances, ranking 6th in extra base hit %. The Twins rank 4th in opponents’ isolated power (.163) and 8th in opponents’ slugging percentage (.417). The pitching staff also limits walks, ranking 4th with a walk percentage of 7.5%. They rank 8th in WHIP and 6th in strikeout-to-walk ratio. However, it is possible to hit for average against Minnesota. The Twins rank 17th in both opponents’ batting average and opponents’ BABIP. Minnesota will send their best pitcher, Jose Berrios, to the mound in this contest against the Rangers. The Twins’ ace has pitched 153 and 1/3 innings in 24 starts, this season. Berrios was chosen for his 2nd consecutive all-star game, and his stats indicate that his selection was justified. He has a 3.29 ERA, 1.148 WHIP, and 4.11 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Berrios allows 8.3 hits, 1.1 home runs, and 3.76 runs per 9 innings.
The Rangers score 5.11 runs per game, ranking 9th in the MLB in run production. Texas has a top 10 offense and a unique statistical profile. One of the Rangers’ biggest strengths is their base running. According to Fangraphs, they rank #1 in terms of runs produced through base running. They rank 2nd in the MLB in stolen bases per game (0.76 per game) and rank 9th in stolen base % (75.0%). Texas ranks 8th in batting average on balls in play with a BABIP of (.307). The Rangers are able to grind out hits by putting balls in play and using their speed to get on base. They also have the ability to stretch out singles and turn them into doubles and triples. 41.4% of their hits go for extra bases (3rd-highest mark in the MLB). It’s also interesting that they rank 7th in extra base hit % (9.2%) despite ranking just 17th in home run percentage (3.7%). Texas ranks 12th in isolated power (.191) and 11th in slugging percentage (.441). The biggest problem for the Rangers batting lineup is their high strikeout rate. Texas strikes out on 25.7% of their plate appearances, ranking 27th in the Majors. Overall, the Rangers rank 13th in on base plus slugging percentage (.763).
Texas allows 5.30 runs per game, ranking 24th in the MLB in runs allowed. They rank 20th or worse in every major pitching and defensive category. Their opponents’ OPS of .805 ranks 26th in the Majors. Texas ranks 26th in opponents’ slugging percentage (.464) and 27th in opponents’ on base percentage (.341). Rangers’ pitchers rank 27th in WHIP (1.447) and 23rd in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.45). They are 20th in both opponents’ strikeout percentage (22.0%) and opponents’ walk percentage (9.0%). The Rangers allow opponents to hit for a batting average of .269 (25th in the MLB) and a BABIP of .315 (29th in the MLB). Opposing batters hit home runs against the Rangers in 3.8% of their plate appearances, placing the Rangers 22nd in home run percentage. Ariel Jurado gets the call as today’s starting pitcher for the Texas Rangers. The 23-year-old right-hander has pitched 96 and 2/3 innings in 25 pitching appearances (15 as starter, 10 in relief), this season. Jurado currently has a 5.31 ERA, 1.448 WHIP, and a 2.40 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has given up an average of 10.2 hits, 1.4 home runs, and 6.05 runs per 9 innings.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
Minnesota is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games against Texas.
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Minnesota’s last 6 games on the road.
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Minnesota’s last 6 games when playing on the road against Texas.
Texas is 2-8 SU in their last 10 games.
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Texas’ last 8 games against Minnesota.
The total has gone OVER in 9 of Texas’ last 12 games at home.
ESPN MLB Scores Minnesota Twins vs. Texas Rangers
I’m taking the Texas Rangers at +140 in this matchup. It’s tough to pass up a big home underdog with the scoring ability of the Texas Rangers. When you have 2 productive offenses playing in Arlington, you’re going to get a high scoring game. I think this game will come down to Texas’ far superior base running capabilities. It will be important for the Rangers to find a way to get on base. It will be difficult to do against Berrios, but I believe that Berrios will give them some opportunities. The Rangers will steal bases and stretch singles to extra base hits. Texas will need to get a solid outing from Ariel Jurado and the bullpen. The Rangers did well to limit Minnesota to 4 runs yesterday, and I could see something similar today. While Minnesota is the rightful favorite, the value lies with the Rangers as +140 is too big of a number for this offense.