The Minnesota Twins are playing their best baseball of the season and will host the Texas Rangers Wednesday evening from Target Field. The Rangers have rookie Hyeon-Jong Yang on the mound. The Twins will go with Lewis Thorpe. Minnesota recorded a 6-5 win on Monday’s series opener, and the Rangers countered with a 6-3 win on Tuesday.
Yang Makes Third Career Appearance
The Rangers will have Hyeon-Jong Yang make his third appearance of the season in this one. Yang was tremendous in his previous outing, holding the potent Red Sox lineup to zero runs and one hit in 4.1 innings in a game the Rangers lost by a 6-1 score. The rookie conceded two runs in 4.1 innings against the Angels in his other performance and is seeking his first career victory.
Texas stands in last place in the AL West. They rebounded from an ugly five-game slide by winning three of four games over the first-place Red Sox this past weekend. The bats have been solid while the pitching needs work.
El Bombi sends one. pic.twitter.com/LuUcJgzmlS— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) May 4, 2021
Watch for Nick Solak who has been the Rangers' most consistent hitter this season. The 26-year old second baseman has tallied another eight hits in his last seven games and has increased his season average to .288 along with 15 RBI’s and an .873 OPS. Solak went 1 for 4 against the Twins on Monday.
The Rangers are averaging 4.07 runs per game, placing them 20th in the Major Leagues. The pitching staff has filed a poor 4.49 team ERA, landing them at 23rd overall.
Thorpe Starts, Twins Offense Rebounds
Lewis Thorpe will make his second start and third appearance of the season in place of Michael Pineda. Thorpe allowed two runs in four innings against the Angels in his first appearance of the season and tossed one scoreless inning against Oakland in his second. The young southpaw has not fared well in the big leagues, posting a 5.88 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP in 49 career innings.
Minnesota is starting to rebound from their April slump propelled by a flood of runs including six runs in Monday's triumph over Texas. They will likely be battling for the top spot in the AL Central as long as the pitching holds up.
Nelson Cruz is still a big-run producer at the age of 40. The veteran DH has driven in another five runs in his last five clashes overall and leads the team with eight dingers along with 21 RBI’s and a sparkling 1 OPS. Cruz went 1 for 4 in Monday’s win vs against Texas.
Minnesota stands sixth in all of baseball with an average of 4.93 runs on the year. The Twins pitching staff owns a 4.37 team ERA, landing them 19th in the big leagues.
The Texas Rangers are:
- 2-15 in their last 17 games against the AL Central.
- 0-4 in their last 4 road games entering Tuesday.
- 3-7 in their last 10 games overall.
The Minnesota Twins are:
- 4-1 in their last 5 games overall.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Twins are finding a groove after a disastrous start to the season, winning four out of their last five games overall entering Tuesday night. The offense is red-hot, accumulating at least six runs in four of those five clashes which is bad news for a poor Rangers pitching staff. Texas is sending rookie Yang to the mound and the Twins should take advantage.
Furthermore, the Rangers are not quite as effective against lefties, recording a .656 OPS compared to a .713 OPS against right-handers, so I am confident Twins’ left-handed starter Lewis Thorpe will be able to contain the Texas bats. The Rangers have also only won three out of their last ten games overall entering Tuesday.
Full-Game Total Pick
The flourishing Twins offense should lead to a high-scoring bout. Minnesota is getting healthy as the only big hitter out of the lineup is Miguel Sano after Kepler and Simmons were recently on the IL. Texas has squandered six or more runs in three out of their last four bouts and the over is 4-1 in the Rangers’ last five road games.
In addition, the Twins bullpen is not reliable. They stand 23rd in the Majors with a 4.66 ERA on the season, and Texas got them for five runs on Monday. The over is also a convincing 6-0-1 in the Twins’ last seven games overall.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Twins scoring barrage should resume. Minnesota now ranks in the top 10 in most offensive categories including seventh in runs and this is a powerful lineup that should take advantage of Texas. The Rangers have now allowed an average of 5.25 runs in their last eight road games overall.
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
I expect the Twins to strike first. Minnesota has struck early against Texas, scoring four runs in innings 1-3 in the first two games of this series. Their highest scoring stretch occurs in the first three frames with a combined 58 runs.