The Twins are getting close to locking up the AL Central title, but the Reds aren’t so comfortable as they battle with a handful of teams for a wild card berth. Can Cincinnati stay hot on Wednesday? Hunter Greene will take the hill for the Reds, facing Bailey Ober. The Reds and Twins are even on the moneyline at -108.
Let’s make predictions for Wednesday’s matchup and break down why the Reds are the best bet.
Twins vs. Reds Prediction
In what’s essentially a toss-up in terms of odds, it looks like the advantage lies with the Reds. Hunter Greene has really started to look like the pitcher Cincinnati expected now that he’s settled in after an extended IL stint, and this matchup is a poor one for the Twins.
With Greene striking out 12 batters per nine and Minnesota the league’s highest-strikeout team offensively, there’s plenty of opportunity for the young starter to mow down hitters. As usual, the Twins might be reliant on the home run ball in between strikeouts.
Twins starter Bailey Ober has a 6.27 ERA and .317 opponent AVG over his last seven starts, with a minor-league stint right in the middle of that stretch. He also doesn’t give Minnesota much length, opening the door for a middle-of-the-road bullpen to cover 4+ innings, The Reds average 1.33 home runs per game at home, compared to 1.00 on the road. With an elevated home run rate, Ober might have a hard time keeping the ball in the ballpark.
The Reds are a slightly better value at home in this battle of postseason hopefuls.
Twins vs. Reds Prediction: Reds Moneyline (-108)
Twins vs. Reds Odds
The Reds and Twins are even on the moneyline at -108. The over/under is 9 runs.
The Reds have had to rely a bit more on their pitching with Matt McLain sidelined and Elly De La Cruz struggling, and Hunter Greene has risen to the occasion. Can he keep the momentum going against a Twins lineup that has some hot hitters as well?
Twins vs. Reds Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Twins vs. Reds.
Twins Lineup vs. Hunter Greene’s Swing-and-Miss Stuff
Hunter Greene has shown flashes this season, but thanks to an injury, he’s struggled to put it all together. His last three starts have been pretty stellar, however, and his strikeout rate is actually higher than it was last season at 12 K/9. The stuff is still there.
Will the Twins fall victim to Green’s swing-and-miss ability? Chances are high. The Twins strike out more than any other team, 10.27 times per game. Even some of the younger bats who get on base frequently (Edouard Julien, Royce Lewis) have elevated strikeout rates.
Minnesota has upped its home run totals lately, but with that comes some strikeouts. Greene could rack up a high strikeout total with this mismatch. He will just have to make sure home runs don’t burn him.
Reds Lineup vs. Twins Bullpen
The Reds are in the position they’re in because of late-game heroics. They’ve become accustomed to facing deficits or close scores late in games and collecting big hits with the game on the line. How well the Twins’ bullpen fares against Cincinnati will be critical on Wednesday.
Starter Bailey Ober hasn’t lasted past the fifth inning in any of his last seven starts. In all likelihood, the Twins are going to need at least four innings from their bullpen. Minnesota’s ‘pen hovers near the middle of the pack this season, but it’s up to 10th in ERA since the start of September. The unit did allow three runs on Monday, but those were entirely the fault of Dallas Keuchel.
The Twins should have some better-rested high-leverage relievers available instead of falling back on someone like Keuchel in this game.
Rays vs. Twins Starting Lineups
Twins Starting Lineup
DH Edouard Julien L
2B Jorge Polanco S
3B Royce Lewis R
RF Max Kepler L
SS Carlos Correa L
1B Alex Kirilloff L
LF Matt Wallner L
C Ryan Jeffers R
CF Michael Taylor R
Reds Starting Lineup
2B Jonathan India R
CF TJ Friedl L
LF Spencer Steer R
DH Jake Fraley L
C Tyler Stephenson R
1B Joey Votto L
SS Elly De La Cruz S
3B Noelvi Marte R
RF Will Benson L