Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#931 Detroit Tigers vs.
#932 Minnesota Twins
Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 8:10pm EDT
Written by Chris Altruda

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Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins

When and Where: Saturday, May 11, Target Field, Minneapolis, Minn., 8:10 p.m. EDT.

The Detroit Tigers are set to give Gregory Soto his major league debut Saturday night when they wrap up a day-night doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins.

Soto makes jump to big leagues from Double A

The 24-year-old Soto (NR) has not been formally announced as Detroit’s starter for this game, but the left-hander is expected to be the 26th man on the Tigers roster Saturday as part of doubleheader rules.

Soto has only pitched 17 1-3 innings this year in part due to a 20-game suspension imposed by Major League Baseball for “conduct that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of Baseball.” The lefty has made three starts for Double-A Erie, striking out 12 in 13 1-3 innings after starting the season in Advanced Class A ball at Lakeland.

“If he’s able to control his emotions and not try to overthrow the ball, and do what he did to get here, then he’ll be fine,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire told the club’s official website Friday. “If he tries to get out of whack and throw it 98 miles an hour, he’ll probably have a little bit of an issue. The only thing we can do is stick him out there and see what happens.”

Soto was the team’s minor league pitcher of the year in 2017 after going a combined 12-2 with a 2.25 ERA for Class A West Michigan and Lakeland, striking out 144 in 124 innings while allowing just four home runs.

Stewart to get call-up for nightcap of twinbill

Technically still a rookie, Kohl Stewart (0-1, 7.50 ERA) is also serving as the 26th man for this doubleheader and gets the ball for his second start of the year with the Twins.

Stewart’s other start this year came April 24 at Houston, where he was tagged for five runs and eight hits — two of them home runs — in six innings of a 7-1 loss to the Astros. The right-hander made two appearances at Triple-A Rochester after that loss and pitched the first two innings of the Red Wings’ 10-5 loss to Toledo on Tuesday night.

The 24-year-old saw plenty of the Tigers last year, going 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in two starts and four appearances covering 19 innings. Stewart made his major league debut at Detroit on Aug. 12, giving up three runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-2 loss.

His victory came Sept. 17 when he followed Gabriel Moya and conceded only an unearned run in six innings of a 6-1 road win. Jeimer Candelario went 4 for 8 with a double in their matchups for Detroit.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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There is little in the way of a scouting report on Soto, who has a plus-fastball that can touch the mid-90s and an above-average curve. But in this instance, the known entity and better choice is the Twins and Stewart, especially since nearly 45 percent of his 42 2-3 major league innings pitched have come against the Tigers.

Additionally, sometimes it is best to keep it simple — the Twins are the better team and should win.

Prediction: Twins -1.5 runs (-110)

Full-Game Total Pick

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The line of 9.5 runs was slightly higher than expected, but still on the high end of it still being a toss-up. But with the belief Spencer Turnbull and Michael Pineda will hold down the offenses earlier in the day, the bats will come to life in the nightcap against the youngsters.

The over has hit in Minnesota’s last four home games versus left-handed starters and is 13-5-1 in Detroit’s last 19 road games vs. teams with an above-.600 home record.

Prediction: OVER 9.5 runs (-110)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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While Stewart acquitted himself well versus the Tigers last year, the feeling is this game will have an odd vibe with the young arms pitching and the game will be on the higher end scoring-wise.

There is some risk to this pick with Detroit entering the first game of Saturday’s twinbill having been shutout in its previous two games, but the hedge is its offense gets the upper hand in this one the second time Stewart faces the Tigers lineup.

Prediction: Tigers OVER 3.5 runs (-140)

First Five Innings Side Pick

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The Twins have held a lead after five innings in their last four games entering Saturday’s doubleheader opener and in seven of nine overall. The AL Central leaders against a pitcher making his MLB debut is an easy solid play laying the half-run.

Prediction: Twins -0.5 runs (-130)

First Five Innings Total Bet

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Stewart gave up five runs in the first five innings of his lone start this year. Some of this pick depends on how much of Minnesota’s bullpen manager Rocco Baldelli has to burn in the opener of this doubleheader. But the expectation is the Twins will get to Soto at some point during their first two turns through the lineup and help deliver an easy win for the over.

Prediction: OVER 5.5 runs (-105)

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

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The expectation for a high-scoring game aside, Stewart has given up runs in his first inning of work just once in his nine career appearances. With Soto an unknown entity and perhaps overexcited for his major league debut, the Twins are worth a play to strike first in this contest.

Prediction: Twins to score first (-115)
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Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is based in Chicago. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiner, he 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. Follow Chris daily right here at W&W and on Twitter at @AlTruda73. You won’t be disappointed.