Minnesota has a chance to clinch a series win over Seattle when they face off on Saturday afternoon. The Twins picked up a 10-2 victory on Thursday before the teams had the day off on Friday. Seattle will be looking to send the series to a deciding game three on Sunday afternoon.
Mariners looking for bounce back effortSeattle opened the season with a series win over San Francisco that including an 8-7 win in 10 innings on Opening Day. The Mariners proceeded to lose consecutive games to the White Sox by six runs before closing out the series with an 8-4 victory on Wednesday. They were unable to bring that momentum into Thursday’s game in Minnesota, though. Seattle took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning on an RBI single, but Minnesota scored seven consecutive runs after that. The Mariners gave up 16 hits and only scored two runs on their seven base knocks. Catcher Luis Torrens led the team with a 3-for-4 day at the plate.
Ty time. pic.twitter.com/PXsJ6ZuiLj— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 8, 2021
Third baseman Ty France has a team-high nine hits through the first seven games of the season. Right fielder Mitch Haniger has added eight hits. The Mariners have only hit three home runs to open the year. They rank No. 21 in team batting average at .209 and are facing a Minnesota pitching staff that is third-best with a team ERA of 2.12. Left-handed pitcher Yusei Kikuchi will start for Seattle on Saturday afternoon. He was excellent in his season debut, striking out a career-high 10 batters and throwing more first-pitch strikes than he ever has in his 42 previous games.
Twins hoping for third straight series winMinnesota comes into this game with a chance to win a third consecutive series to open the season. The Twins traveled to Milwaukee for their first series, where they lost in extra innings on Opening Day, but they proceeded to bounce back with a pair of wins. They traveled to Detroit earlier this week, taking two out of three from the Tigers. Once again, the lone loss came in 10 innings. Minnesota was way too much for Seattle to handle on Thursday, as the bats got hot in the middle innings. Center fielder Byron Buxton and shortstop Andrelton Simmons both had three-hit days at the dish.
Buxton hit a solo homer in the fifth inning and catcher Mitch Garver blasted a three-run shot in the third inning. Designated hitter Nelson Cruz is tied with Simmons for a team-high nine hits through seven games. Buxton and second baseman Luis Arraez have both recorded eight hits. The Twins rank fourth in batting average (.278) and are going to face a Seattle pitching staff that is No. 26 in team ERA (5.71). Right-hander Michael Pineda will start for Minnesota on Saturday. He allowed just one unearned run across five innings of work in his season debut. Pineda has a 3.80 ERA in his three seasons with the club.
- 0-5 in Kikuchi's last 5 Saturday starts
- 0-4 in Kikuchi's last 4 starts
- 0-4 in Kikuchi's last 4 starts during game 2 of a series
- 9-0 in Pineda's last 9 starts during game 2 of a series
- 7-0 in their last 7 games vs. a left-handed starter
- 6-0 in Pineda's last 6 starts vs. American League West
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
There is an even bigger gap between these teams than the current records would suggest. Minnesota has only lost two games this season and both of them have come by one run in 10 innings. Seattle has been blown out several times and has picked up a few close wins. The value in this spot is on the Twins run-line, as their offense and pitching staff both have an advantage at home against the Mariners. Seattle has lost five of its last seven meetings with Minnesota and does not have a lineup that can keep pace with teams at the top of the MLB.
Full-Game Total Pick
Both starting pitchers in this game were excellent in their season debuts. Kikuchi had one of his best outings since coming over from Japan in 2019, as he peppered the strike zone more than he ever has. Pineda looked to re-gain his confident pitching ability after some rough outings down the stretch last season. Seattle has one of the worst lineups in the MLB, so Pineda should have some good numbers in this game. The under has cashed in the Twins last six home games against a team with a road winning percentage lower than .400.