Two projected playoff teams square off for an interleague series this weekend as the Phillies host the Twins. In Saturday’s game, Pablo López takes the mound for Minnesota against the Phillies’ Taijuan Walker.
This game is essentially a pick’em with the Twins at -112 on moneyline and the Phillies at -108. The over/under is set at 9.0 runs. The prediction here is that the Phillies win and the over hits.
Twins vs Phillies Prediction
Starting pitchers: LHP Pablo López (7-6, 3.81 ERA) vs RHP Taijuan Walker (13-4, 3.98 ERA)
Ever since a struggling Trea Turner got a standing ovation of encouragement from the Phillies faithful last weekend, both Turner and the rest of the Phillies lineup have been absolutely on fire.
In the last week they have 20 home runs and 55 runs scored (nearly 8 per game), leading the league in both categories (by a healthy margin). Turner (12-for-28, 2 homers, 9 RBI) and Nick Castellanos (11-for-30, 4 homers, 8 RBI) have led the way, but everyone has contributed.
Even without Bryce Harper, who is day to day with back spasms, they still scored 13 runs in the first game of this series last night (although 2 of those came on this homer off a position player).
Jordan Luplow imitates Craig Kimbrel, then Johan Rojas proceeds to send a 47.5 mph pitch into the stands
As called by Franzke and LA pic.twitter.com/8ZTbb7nG9x
— Nick Piccone (@_piccone) August 12, 2023
Can Twins’ starter Pablo López slow them down? Maybe. The Phillies have plenty of familiarity with López, who spent his first 5 seasons in Miami before being traded to Minnesota in the deal for Luis Arraez.
López is having the best season of his career for the Twins. He is 10th in MLB with a 3.27 FIP and has career bests in K/9 (10.99), K/BB (4.81), WHIP (1.10) and opponent average (.224). He is in the midst of his best stretch of the season, with a 1.80 ERA and 0.96 WHIP over his last 4 starts (25 innings)
López is the rare lefty who is actually better against righties (.216 average, .648 OPS) than lefties (.260 average, .738 OPS), which will serve him well against a Phillies lineup with only 2 lefties (assuming Harper remains out).
When a hot pitcher faces a hot lineup, it’s easier to trust the offense on the simple premise that one pitcher can have a bad day but an entire lineup going cold all at once is much less likely. It’s hard not to like the Phillies in this matchup.
Taking the mound for Philadelphia is Taijuan Walker, who is having a solid season and has benefitted from excellent run support to lead the league in wins with 13. Equally effective against both righties and lefties, Walker faces a Twins lineup that prefers facing righties (.240 average and .745 OPS compared to .225 and .682 against lefties).
López is the better starter in this matchup, but the Phillies are the much more dangerous lineup right now and they’re at home with one of the best home field advantages in baseball. Considering we can get the Phillies moneyline for +104 at FanDuel (the only sportsbook with plus odds), we like the value on that pick as the best bet in this game.
The way the Phillies have been hitting, we also like the over on 9 runs, even against a strong pitcher like López. We should also see a bit more offense from the Twins facing a righty tonight than we saw from them last night.
Twins vs Phillies Prediction: Phillies moneyline (+104 at FanDuel), over 9 runs (-105)
Twins vs Phillies Odds
This game is essentially a pick’em at DraftKings with the Twins as tiny favorites getting -112 moneyline odds while the Phillies moneyline is -108. Over at FanDuel you can get the Phillies at +104.
The Twins are laying -1.5 runs on the spread at +145 odds, while the Phillies are getting +1.5 runs at -175 odds.
The over/under is set at 9 runs with -105 odds on the over and -115 odds on the under.
Twins vs Phillies Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Twins vs Phillies.
Pablo López vs. Turner and Castellanos
The Phillies’ hot bats are one of the main reasons for the Phillies moneyline pick in our Twins vs. Phillies prediction.
As noted above, Trea Turner and Nick Castellanos have been leading the way for Philadelphia over the last week. Batting at the heart of the order with Harper out, they need to keep it going against one of the best pitchers in baseball for this prediction to pan out.
Turner has seen plenty of at-bats against López from his time with the Nationals while López was in Miami. López has gotten the better of that matchup, as Turner is hitting just .207 in those 29 career at-bats. That will not be good enough for Turner tonight.
These two bullpens are separated by just one one-hundredth of a point in bullpen ERA, with Phillies’ unit having a 3.94 ERA (9th best) and the Twins at 3.95 (10th).
Philadelphia has a wider edge in advanced metrics like FIP, where the Phillies are at 3.96 (9th) compared to the Twins’ 4.15 (17th).
While both teams’ relief staffs have been solid for most of the season, the Phillies have been much better since the All Star Break. They have a 3.44 ERA over that span (5th best), while the Twins have dropped to 4.95 (25th).
Give a small edge to the Phillies here, which provides a bit more confidence in their moneyline pick.
Twins vs Phillies Starting Lineups (Projected)
Twins Starting Lineup
2B Edouard Julien (L)
3B Jorge Polanco (S)
SS Carlos Correa (R)
RF Max Kepler (L)
LF Matt Wallner (L)
CF Willi Castro (S)
DH Ryan Jeffers (R)
1B Joey Gallo (L)
C Christian Vazquez (R)
Phillies Starting Lineup
DH Kyle Schwarber (L)
1B Alec Bohm (R)
SS Trea Turner (R)
RF Nick Castellanos (R)
2B Bryson Stott (L)
C J.T. Realmuto (R)
LF Weston Wilson (R)
3B Edmundo Sosa (R)
CF Johan Rojas (R)