Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#771 Seattle Mariners vs.
#772 Minnesota Twins
Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 4:10pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Seattle Mariners will travel to Target Field on Thursday afternoon for an American League battle versus the Minnesota Twins.

After sneaking out with a series win against the San Francisco Giants, the Mariners were able to avoid a sweep with a win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday. Seattle comes in with a 3-3 overall record while the Twins are 4-2 after winnings four of their last five contests.

Can Minnesota stay hot as it returns to Target Field for its 2021 home opener against the Mariners on Thursday afternoon?

Mariners salvage final game in series vs. White Sox

The Mariners were able to salvage the final game of their three-game series against the White Sox with an 8-4 victory at home on Wednesday night. Kyle Seager finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs and helped break a 4-4 tie with a double during Seattle’s seven-run sixth-inning outburst.

Seattle is scheduled to send veteran lefty Marco Gonzales to the hill at Target Field on Thursday afternoon. The 29-year-old labored through his first start of the season, allowing five runs on eight hits over six frames in a no-decision versus the San Francisco Giants.

Gonzales last saw the Twins in 2019, when he was shelled for six runs (five earned) in five innings of work. That was his only career start against Minnesota. According to Baseball Savant, current Twins are batting a healthy .390 in 43 plate appearances off of the Mariners’ lefty heading into Thursday’s matchup.

Berrios looking to build on strong 2021 debut

The Twins used a two-run sixth inning to complete their comeback in a 3-2 win versus the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday. Kenta Maeda turned in a quality start with six innings of two-run ball while Jorge Polanco doubled in the tying and go-ahead runs to send the Twins to a series win on the road at Comerica Park.

The Twins are scheduled to hand the ball to right-handed ace Jose Berrios on Thursday afternoon. The 26-year-old turned in a spectacular outing in his 2021 debut, tossing six innings of no-hit ball with 12 strikeouts and no walks on the night. The start was an encouraging sign for the Twins after the right-hander regressed during last season’s coronavirus-shortened campaign.

As a result, Berrios hasn’t seen the Mariners since the 2019 season, when he finished without a decision despite posting a 3.97 ERA over a span of two starts. For his career, Berrios is 1-2 with a 4.02 ERA against the Mariners and owns a 4.50 ERA in two career starts at Safeco Field.

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These two starters had very different debuts. Berrios looked absolutely dominant, finally flashing the command of a staff ace during his 12-strikeout performance. Meanwhile, Gonzales will be looking to rebound after giving up five runs in a no-decision against the Giants. As great as Berrios was, I’d like to see a little more consistency from the right-hander before laying this much juice here. Despite the poor outing, Gonzales managed to battle long enough to help the Mariners get the win and should be able to rebound with a better start on Thursday. Look for him to bounce back and take the Mariners on the road in this American League battle on Thursday afternoon.

Prediction: Seattle Mariners +187

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This game is pegged for eight runs but that number feels a bit high considering how these two teams have played on offense as of late. Seattle has averaged just four runs over its last four games with half of its run production during that span coming in Wednesday’s 8-4 win against the White Sox. Runs will likely be harder to come by off of Berrios in this one, especially if he’s turned the corner with his control. Meanwhile, I expect Gonzales to turn in a better outing as well. He walked three batters against the Giants after walking seven all of last season. Take this matchup to stay under the projected total on Thursday.

Prediction: Under 8
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Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.