Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#917 Detroit Tigers vs.
#918 Minnesota Twins
Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 2:10pm EDT
Written by Chris Altruda

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Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins

When and Where: Saturday, May 11, Target Field, Minneapolis, Minn., 2:10 p.m. EDT.

Tigers rookie Spencer Turnbull looks to extend his run of impressive outings Saturday in the first game of Detroit’s day-night doubleheader versus the Minnesota Twins.

Turnbull’s confidence in slider paying off in results

Turnbull (2-2, 2.31 ERA) made three starts and four overall appearances as a September call-up for the Tigers last season, but he has hit the ground running after sticking with the team out of spring training.

The right-hander has given up one or no runs in his last four outings and yet to yield more than three in any of his seven starts in 2019. Turnbull’s bullpen cost him a win Sunday versus Kansas City after he held the Royals to one run in seven innings before Detroit recovered for a 5-2, 10-inning walk-off win.

“I always try to go deep in games,” said Turnbull, who threw a career-high 102 pitches, to the Detroit News. “That’s always one of my goals. Today I was actually able to get into the seventh. It really wasn’t about what happened yesterday.

“I didn’t try to put any extra pressure on it. I mean, it helps, but I’m trying to do that every time I go out there.”

A big key to Turnbull’s effectiveness is his slider, against which hitters are batting a paltry .097 while swinging and missing 40 percent of the time per CBSSports. The righty has yielded two earned runs in his last 24 innings while holding opposing batters to a .167 average in his last four starts.

Turnbull had mixed results in his two starts versus Minnesota last year, giving up seven runs in 10 innings. The better of the two outings came at Target Field on September 25 when he conceded one run in six innings and left before Detroit rallied for a 4-2 victory.

Slumping Pineda out to get back on track for Twins

After winning two of his first three starts, Michael Pineda (2-3, 6.09) is looking to avoid a third consecutive losing start as he takes the ball for the Twins in this doubleheader opener.

The right-hander is winless in four starts, going 0-3 with an 8.53 ERA while opponents are hitting him at a .361 clip. Pineda took a loss against his most recent former team Sunday, yielding four runs and six hits over five innings of a 4-1 defeat to the New York Yankees.

Pineda, though, found something to build on after striking out eight in the loss.

“I feel pretty good, especially my slider,” Pineda told The Athletic. “That’s what I tried to work on, to be more consistent with my slider. (Sunday), I improved in the game. My slider was working better, so I feel pretty good for that.”

“My pitches were working a little bit better, and I had a lot of positives.”

Pineda’s most recent win came against Detroit on April 13, yielding three runs and eight hits in six innings of a 4-3 home win to improve to 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA in five lifetime starts versus the Tigers.

Miguel Cabrera has been locked in on Pineda in their matchups, going 6 for 13 with a pair of doubles.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Currently, Pineda is the weak link in Minnesota’s rotation, and with Turnbull pitching well, the pick here is for the Tigers to at least keep this game close if not win it outright.

Pineda is still not all the way back from Tommy John surgery but has shown a tendency to pitch better in warmer weather. With a first-pitch temperature expected around 60 degrees, the right-hander could put together a solid outing to at least match Turnbull.

Prediction: Tigers +1.5 runs (-135)

Full-Game Total Pick

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This is a confidence pick in Turnbull along with the belief Pineda will be aided by the warmer temperature than the 51 degrees he dealt with in the Bronx. Turnbull has also helped deliver the under in his last five starts and in four of his last five outside Detroit.

Despite the line dipping a full run in the overnight, there is still confidence both pitchers will hold the line.

Prediction: UNDER 8.5 runs (Even)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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Taking the under for the game and the Tigers to cover makes taking the under for the Twins the logical pick. This is another confidence pick in Turnbull, who has pitched at least six innings in four of his seven starts, getting the job done.

Prediction: Twins UNDER 4.5 runs (-110)

First Five Innings Side Pick

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Turnbull’s early game form in recent outings makes the Tigers the nod here, with the half-run not diminishing too much value on the pick. The righty has staked Detroit to a lead after five innings in his last four starts, and the hedge is that trumps the form of the Tigers yet to hold a lead after five versus the Twins this year.

Additionally, the Twins have not led after five innings in Pineda’s last four outings.

Prediction: Tigers +0.5 runs (-115)

First Five Innings Total Bet

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An aggressive play here given Turnbull’s form and also sticking to the expectation Pineda will not suffer too heavily the second time through a lineup. The Twins right-hander has let opponents hit .327 in those at-bats, so there is some risk to this pick, but Turnbull has yielded three runs over the first five innings of his last four starts.

Prediction: UNDER 5 runs (-115)

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

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While Pineda has struggled in his last four starts, he has given up only one first-inning run in them — a solo homer at Toronto — and that is also the only opening-frame run he as yielded in seven starts overall. Turnbull has been almost as formidable, conceding first-inning runs in two of his seven outings.

Prediction: NO to 1st-inning run (-120)

Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is a freelance sportswriter based in Chicago. He has worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Can be followed on Twitter at @AlTruda73.