Minnesota Twins (56-56 SU, 55-57 RL, 48-55-9 O/U) vs Detroit Tigers (52-61 SU, 56-57 RL, 59-48-6 O/U)
When: 7:10 PM EDT, Friday, August 11, 2017
Where: Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan
Lines: Detroit -119/ Minnesota +109
Tonight a pair of American League Central foes will clash in the Motor City as the Minnesota Twins take on the Detroit Tigers in game one of their three-game series from Comerica Park. Detroit has won 21 of their last 28 home games in this series. Pitching Probables: Kyle Gibson (6-9, 6.03 ERA) will toe the slab for the Twins in this one and the Tigers will counter with Anibal Sanchez (3-2, 7.14 ERA).
The Twins Are Getting Hot Again
The Minnesota Twins led the division for much of the first half of the season, but then they slid some and fell to seven games out of first in the American League Central at one point. They come into this series off a four-game set against the Brewers and they took the first three games of that season and have now won their last four in a row overall. This is on the heels of them going 3-9 in their previous 12 games. The Twins are still 4.5 games out of first, but they are also just 1.5 games out of the 2nd wildcard slot in the American League, which is quite a turnaround from last year in which they had the worst record in the league. It is also remarkable that they are still in the race as their offense is below average, their pitching is abysmal and they have struggled at home, where they are just 27-33. They are on the road in this one and the road has been kind to them as they are 29-23 away from home so far. Taking the hill for the Twins in this one will be Kyle Gibson and he has gone 6-9 with a 6.03 ERA in 19 starts on the year, including 1-2 with a 4.82 ERA in his last three starts and 3-3 with a 5.31 ERA in eight starts on the road. Gibson has gone 5-7 with a 5.87 ERA in 23 career starts during the month of August and he is 5-7 with a 5.65 ERA in 13 career starts against the Tigers, including 2-4 with a 5.08 ERA in seven starts here at Comerica.
The Twins have been a below average offensive team so far as they come in ranked 19th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.55 rpg, while also ranking 18th in hitting at .250 and 23rd in homers with 125. On the mound, they have been poor so far as they come in ranked 26th in the league in ERA at 4.73, while also ranking 25th in WHIP at 1.41.
Tigers Crush Pirates At Home
The Detroit Tigers are trying to hang in the race for a wild-card berth, but they have not been playing great of late as they are just 1-4 in their last five games, as of Wednesday night. That one win was in their last game as they came home from a nine game road trip to pound the Pittsburg Pirates by a score of 10-0. This was a home-and-home series and they lost the first two games, which were in Pittsburgh, by scores of 3-0 and 6-3. Leading their attack in the 10-0 win was Ian Kinsler, who had three hit and four RBIs and Nick Castellanos, who had three hits and five RBIs. Kinsler had the only homer of the game and it was his 11th of the year. Also having a big game was Justin Verlander, who allowed just one hit in 8.0 innings of work. He is now 8-7 with a 3.97 ERA on the year. The Tigers are still 6.0 games out of a wildcard slot and they have gone 28-25 here at home. Toeing the rubber for the Tigers in this one will be Anibal Sanchez and he has gone 3-2 with a 7.14 ERA in 20 games overall, including 3-2 with a 5.59 ERA in nine games as a starter. Sanchez is 16-18 with a 4.07 ERA in 48 starts during the month of August and he is 27-21 with a 4.13 ERA in 75 games (64 starts) here at Comerica, while against the Twins he has gone 6-4 with a 3.71 ERA in 21 games (17 starts).
The Tigers have been a good offensive team so far as they come in ranked 9th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.80 rpg, while also ranking 12th in hitting at .258 and 22nd in homers with 131. On the mound, they have been poor so far this year as they come in ranked 27th in the league in ERA at 4.89, while also ranking 26th in WHIP at 1.42.
- The Over is 37-17-6 in their last 60 road games vs. a team with a losing record
- The Over is 11-3-1 in Gibson’s last 15 starts vs. a team with a losing record
- The Over is 9-2-2 in Sanchez’s last 13 starts during game 1 of a series
- The Over is 6-1-1 in Sanchez’s last eight starts vs. the American League Central
This could be a fun series and one that the Twins really need to play well in. They are just one game out of a wildcard slot and have won their last four games in a row. Their offense has been key of late as they have averaged 6.5 rpg in their last four games and will be taking on Anibal Sanchez, who has a 5.59 ERA in nine games as a starter. He has solid numbers against the Twins, but I just do not see him shutting them down in this one. The Tigers have averaged a solid 5.42 rpg here at home for the year and Kyle Gibson has a 5.31 ERA on the road for the year and a 5.08 ERA in seven career starts in this park. Sanchez’s four home starts this year have averaged 12.00 rpg, while Gibson’s road starts have averaged 10.12 rpg. I look for a slugfest in this one.