With the season just about a lost cause for the Detroit Tigers, the best they can hope to do is play spoiler to their division rivals. After a win on Tuesday snapped the Minnesota Twins’ 5-game win streak, that’s exactly what they’re doing. With a chance to secure at least a split in the four-game series on the line Wednesday, we’ll see if they can do it again, but my prediction is a Twins win and for the over to hit at -115 odds for a run scoring line of 8.
Twins vs. Tigers Prediction Today
Not many people had the Twins tabbed as a contender for this season after finishing below .500 and in third place in a weak AL Central a year ago. Nevertheless, here they are, comfortably leading an even weaker Central division, but now a few games above .500, and finally with a better record than the last place team in the AL East. The Tigers, on the other hand, have been possibly even worse than expected, with things looking worse and worse all the time.
That didn’t stop them from winning on Tuesday, however, as Eduardo Rodríguez stepped up in a big way, delivering 7 shutout innings en route to a nice win for Detroit. The Twins need every win they can get as they look to put the division title on ice, and will be looking to bounce back on Wednesday.
That’s an easier ask compared to Tuesday, to say the least, as they’ll be facing Alex Faedo instead of Rodríguez. The second-year pro has been pretty rough across 7 starts, with an ERA approaching 6 despite a WHIP just above 1.000. He is coming off of a 6 inning shutout start, but had given up 13 runs in his previous 8 innings, a stretch spanning two starts.
Faedo will be squaring off against Bailey Ober, who is quietly putting up a third solid season in the bigs. That being said, he’s also not in the midst of his best stretch of work right now, as he’s allowed multiple runs in each of his past 4 starts, including a 6-run clunker against a weak Royals team to wrap up July. Before that stretch, he was throwing a sub-3.00 ERA, so it’s not like he’s been ineffective overall, but like his team, he’ll need to bounce back and be better on Wednesday.
I believe he will, especially in the context of outdueling Faedo. In fact, we’re going to break the norm a bit and take the Twins on the spread, rather than the moneyline, to capture a bit more value in a game they should win fairly comfortably. The total is not much of a tough call either. These offenses aren’t elite by any stretch, but as we’ve discussed, Faedo has been pretty ineffective, and Ober isn’t on fire- this is a good scenario for some runs to be scored.
Twins vs. Tigers Prediction: Twins -1 (+105), o8 runs (-115)
Twins vs. Tigers Odds
The Twins are pretty well favored in this one with a -155 moneyline, compared to +130 for the Tigers. For a run total of 8, the over is -115 while the under is -105
Twins vs. Tigers Key Matchups
Here are a couple of key matchups that will decide Twins vs Tigers (8/9).
Bailey Ober vs. Power Hitters
There aren’t really many gaping holes in Ober’s stat line, but he has allowed 6 home runs over that recent stretch of four less-outstanding starts. Obviously, everyone wants to hit home runs regardless of the opposing pitcher, but this does provide Detroit with a blueprint of sorts for how to get to the talented righty.
The good news for Ober is that this team is 28th in the league in total home runs, but there are still a few guys who can put it out of the park a bit. While Spencer Torkelson leads the team with 15 long balls this year, a couple of hitters have arguably put on a more impressive display of power.
Jake Rogers has 14 homers in just 76 games, including one on Tuesday, and he’s done it all while being the seventh-best framing catcher in the league. Kerry Carpenter has also hit 12, while playing just 70 games. Riley Greene, who has hit pretty well overall, has 9 homers in 70 games, rounding out a modest but capable top four home run hitters in the Detroit lineup.
Alex Faedo vs. Power Hitters
That’s right- same matchup! Faedo has seen his ERA rise while his walks and hits allowed both fell, which can only mean one thing- opposing batters getting more out of each hit they do pick up, meaning homers. That category is up for Faedo, with 1.8 allowed per 9 innings of work. Somewhat surprisingly, Minnesota’s offense, which is average by most metrics, is 8th in the majors in home runs. Faedo could have a tough time navigating these power bats, a key reason I have the Twins covering the -1 spread in my Twins vs. Tigers prediction.
While the Twins have hit a lot of home runs, they’ve done it without a particularly prolific slugger- it’s an egalitarian effort, featuring 6 hitters with double-digit home runs. Of course, one of those bats is Byron Buxton, who is once again hurt, while another is Joey Gallo, who is no lock to be in the lineup; those two guys are tied for second on the team with 17 homers. They’re both trailing Max Kepler, who has 18 in 87 games. Rounding out that top 6 are Michael A. Taylor with 15, and the deeply polarizing Carlos Correa with a lucky total of 13 home runs thus far.
Twins vs. Tigers Starting Lineups
Twins Starting Lineup
1B D. Solano R
DH J. Polanco S
SS C. Correa R
RF M. Kepler L
C R. Jeffers R
2B K. Farmer R
3B W. Castro S
LF J. Luplow R
CF M. Taylor R
Tigers Starting Lineup
LF A. Baddoo L
CF R. Greene L
3B M. Vierling R
1B S. Torkelson R
RF K. Carpenter L
DH M. Cabrera R
SS Z. McKinstry L
2B N. Maton L
C J. Rogers R