Minnesota Twins (73-48) vs. Texas Rangers (60-61)
August 16th at 8:05 ET (Globe Life Park)
ML: Minnesota Twins +100 Texas Rangers -110
RL: Minnesota Twins (+1.5) Texas Rangers (-1.5) O/U: 10
The four game series between the AL Central leader Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers kicked off yesterday. It was a high scoring affair in which both teams combined to score 19 runs. The Twins got the better end, winning the game by a score of 13-6. Minnesota scored 10 runs in the first four innings. Offensive leaders included Marwin Gonzalez (4-5, 2 RBI, 2B, R), and Luis Arraez (3-5, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2B, HR). It was a great showing by the offense as the Indians are right behind the Twins in the AL Central standings. The Rangers offense produced as well. Willie Calhoun and Hunter Pence homered. They had six XBH, and four players had two hits. IT was a stellar offensive display, but that also meant the pitching was not so good.
The Twins handed the ball off to Michael Pineda in Game 1 of the series. He did pitch a quality start. Additionally, he got his eighth win on the season. The Twins only used two pitchers this entire game. Pineda (W, 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, BB, 6 SO), and Devin Smeltzer (SV, 4.0 IP,7 H, 3 ER, BB, 2 SO). Moreover, both performed admirably, and they got the job done. On the other hand, the Rangers pitching staff was a mess. 24-year old Pedro Payano got the nod for Texas last night. It was a short start for the kid (L, 3.1 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO). The bullpen didn't stop the bleeding either. Shawn Kelley was the only reliever not to give up a run in relief. Texas looks to put this game behind, and start fresh today.
The Twins currently hold a +0.5 advantage to the red-hot Cleveland Indians. Every game will matter the rest of the season if they hope to take the AL Central crown. Winning games against below .500 teams is also key. Today, in Game 2 of the series, Jake Odorizzi will take the mound. He is 13-5 with a 3.55 ERA on the season. Odorizzi was acquired by the Twins on Febuary 17th, 2018, and has been with the Twins since. He's doing much better in his second season with the club. However, in his last seven starts, he is sporting a rough 5.19 ERA. So, he will have to turn it around.
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