Minnesota Twins (6-8) vs. Oakland Athletics (9-7)
The Oakland Athletics will welcome the Minnesota Twins for the third game of a three-game series on Wednesday afternoon. These teams play a doubleheader Tuesday evening, but this preview was written prior to the conclusion of either of those contests.
Heading into the series, Oakland had won six of the last 10 meetings between these teams. Minnesota is the favorite at -116. The odds for the Athletics are set at +107.
Twins Enter Series StrugglingSince defeating Seattle back on April 8, 10-2, it has not been a good stretch for Minnesota. The Twins have earned just one victory in that stretch, losing six games and having three postponed. That has dropped the team to fourth overall in the AL Central.
FINAL: Angels 10, #MNTwins 3— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) April 17, 2021
Minnesota is eighth in runs per game at 4.79 and 15th in runs allowed per game at 4.36. They are seventh in batting average at .252.
Kenta Maeda will go for Minnesota on Wednesday. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA in three starts this season. In 14.2 innings pitched, he has given up a whopping 20 hits and five walks while striking out 16. Only one of those heads has been a home run.
The Twins offense has been led by outfielder Byron Buxton, who has five homers and a .469 batting average. He has been out with a hamstring injury but is expected to be back for this series. Also expected to be back is outfielder Brent Rooker. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons and Kyle Garlick are both out under Covid-19 protocols. DH Nelson Cruz has four homers and 10 RBI.
A’s Enter on a RollAfter being pounded by the Astros and Dodgers to start the season, Oakland finds itself as the hottest team in baseball, winning eight straight games. That includes a four-game sweep of Detroit this past weekend. The Athletics have scored 50 runs during the winning streak.
Oakland is now 12th in runs per game at 4.31 and is 23rd in runs allowed per contest at 5.00. They are 24th in team batting average of .216.
Oakland goes with right-handed pitcher Frankie Montas. Montas is 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA in three starts this season. He has also pitched 14.2 innings, allowing 15 hits and five walks with 16 strikeouts.
The Oakland offense is led by Jed Lowrie with two homers, 12 RBI, and a .333 batting average. He also has 10 runs scored and four doubles. Matt Chapman is only hitting .186, but has three homers and 10 RBI.
- 1-5 in their last six games against AL West teams.
- 1-6 in their last seven games.
- 8-0 in their last eight games.
- 5-0 in their last five games at home.
- 38-15 in the third game of their last 53 series.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This contest is a little difficult to pick because I do not know how these teams are going to perform during their doubleheader on Tuesday. If either team burns out their bullpen, the dynamic of this game will change greatly.
However, what can be said is that Oakland is on fire and Minnesota is struggling. Without Buxton, the Twins are not nearly as formidable as the centerfielder is finally starting to live up to expectations. The A’s are without three guys in their bullpen, but none of them were going to be significant factors.
I like the team that was red-hot right now and Oakland is finding ways to win. Minnesota simply cannot say that.
Full-Game Total Pick
The total is set at 8.0. That is a solid number, because Oakland is not an easy place to hit, especially in the daytime. The Twins clearly have the edge in the starting pitching, but Oakland has the better lineup.
These teams have gone under in five of the last six meetings between them including four of the last five in Oakland. Minnesota has gone under in 15 of their last 23 games on the road against the right-handed starter while Oakland has gone under in five of their last six games at home.
I like the under here as well. Take Oakland to win, 4-3.