Detroit Tigers (8 6U, 6-8 RL, 8-6-0 O/U) vs Minnesota Twins (7-7 SU, 8-6 RL, 3-9-2 O/U)
When: 8:10 PM EDT, Friday, April 21, 2017
Where: Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Lines: Detroit -133/ Minnesota +123
Tonight on the MLB diamond, a pair of American League Central foes will square off as the Detroit Tigers grapple with the Minnesota Twins in game one of their three-game series from Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Under is 5-2 the last seven meetings between these teams. Pitching Probables: Justin Verlander vs Hector Santiago.
Verlander Is Looking To Bounce Back
Last year Justin Verlander had a strong season as he was 16-9 with a 3.04 ERA in 34 starts, including 6-4 with a 3.01 ERA in 15 starts on the road. He finished 2nd in the AL Cy Young voting to show that he has plenty left in the tank. This year he had two strong starts to begin the year as he allowed just two ERs in 13.1 innings of work in those games, but then it all fell apart in game three as he allowed nine ERs on 11 hits, including three homers in 4.0 innings of work in a 13-6 loss to the Cleveland Indians. He will now look to get back on track. Verlander has been a bit of a slow starter as he is just 20-21 with a 4.03 ERA in 57 career starts in March/ April, while against the Twins in his career he has gone 17-8 with a 3.06 ERA in 33 starts, including a perfect 6-0 with a 2.39 ERA in nine career starts here at Target Field. The Tigers are off to a decent 8-6 start and are atop the American League Central Standings and if they hope to have a chance of winning the division this year then they will need Verlander to have a year like he did last year.
The Tigers have been a decent offensive team so far as they come in ranked 13th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.43 rpg, while also ranking 20th in hitting at .232 and 11th in homers with 18. On the mound, they have been very poor in the early going as they come in ranked 30th in the league in ERA at 5.43, while also ranking 30th in WHIP at 1.52.
The Twins are Searching For Offense
Last year, the Twins struggled on the mound but were a decent offensive team and that lead to the4 worst record in the league. This year they have gotten great pitching in the early going and while the Offenses started out strong, it is struggling at the moment as they have averaged just 2.60 rpg over their last five games and they have gone just 1-4 in those games to fall to 7-7 on the year. They need their offense to get back on track or they will continue to slide down the standings. Getting the nod for the Twins will be Hector Santiago and he has gone 1-1 with a slim 1.47 ERA in three starts on the year so far. Last year he was 13-10 with a 4.70 ERA in 33 combined starts for the Angels and Twins. As a member of the Twins, he was 3-6 with a 5.58 ERA in 11 starts, including 1-4 with a 6.75 GAA in six starts here at Target Field. Santiago is now 3-5 with a 5.71 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) here at Target Field in his career, while against the Tigers in his career he is 2-6 with a 3.45 ERA in 18 games (11 starts).
The Twins have been a below average offensive team so far as they come in ranked 19th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.14 rpg, while also ranking 15th in hitting at .240 and 26th in homers with 11. On the mound, they have been very strong in the early going as they come in ranked 2nd in the league in ERA at 2.98, while also ranking 1st in WHIP at 1.04.
- 22-6 in their last 28 during game one of a series
- 7-0 in their last seven games vs. a left-handed starter
- 19-42 in their last 61 home games vs. a team with a winning record
- 5-16 in their last 21 during game one of a series
Verlander was rocked in his last outing as he allowed nine ERs in that start. That hasn’t happened too often for him over the year, but one thing for sure is that he knows how to bounce back and facing a struggling offense should help him here, especially since he is a perfect 6-0 with a 2.39 ERA in his career in this park. Hector Santiago is off to a great start with a 1.47 ERA in three starts, but he has a career 5.71 ERA here at Target Field and he is 2-6 with a 3.45 ERA in his career against the Tigers. I look for Verlander to get back on track and for the Tigers to grab a big road win over a slumping Twins team.