Arizona Diamondbacks (67-55 SU, 68-54 RL, 55-60-7 O/U) vs. Minnesota Twins (61-59 SU, 60-60 RL, 53-58-9 O/U)
MLB: Sunday, August 20, 2017 at 2:10 p.m. EST
The Line: OFF. Total: OFF.
The Minnesota Twins and Arizona Diamondbacks will conclude a three-game series when they clash at Target Field in Minnesota on Sunday afternoon. Arizona dropped the opener on Friday and has lost four of its last five contests. The Twins are now 9-3 in their last 12 outings.
Martinez likely to be ready
The Diamondbacks are holding down the second wild-card spot in the National League, with a four-game cushion over St. Louis. Arizona hopes to have slugger J.D. Martinez back in the lineup after he was scratched on Friday due to an illness. Despite a Friday loss to Minnesota, the Diamondbacks possess an 11-4 record in interleague action. First baseman and MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt has hit safely in eight consecutive games and has 21 RBIs over a span of 19 contests.
Right-hander Braden Shipley is taking the mound for Arizona on Sunday. Shipley is 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA through only four appearances (two starts) in 2017. The 25-year-old has been in relief since a couple of spot starts in early May and early June, and he is back for another one after the Diamondbacks scratched him from his scheduled outing with Triple-A Reno on Thursday and called him up.
Buxton taking flight
Byron Buxton is finally figuring things out at the plate for Minnesota. The 23-year-old outfielder homered, tripled, and doubled in a 10-3 series-opening win on Friday night and is batting .464 with three long balls during an eight-game hitting streak. The Twins have won nine of 12 to move into a tie with the Angels for the second wild card in the American League. Left fielder Eddie Rosario also has an eight-game hitting streak (.441) after recording three hits on Friday.
Bartolo Colon will oppose Shipley on Sunday. The right-hander is 4-10 with a bloated 6.70 ERA so far this season. If there is any good news, it’s that Colon has been better with Minnesota than he was in Atlanta–which is not saying a lot. The 44-year-old went a laughable 2-8 with an 8.14 ERA for the Braves before being released. He is a more respectable 2-2 with a 4.21 ERA as a Twin. Colon failed to locate the ball and keep it in the ballpark during his most recent performance against Cleveland on Tuesday, when he went five inning and allowed three runs on three homers, seven hits, and four walks.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are:
- 4-1 Over in their last five overall
- 5-2-1 Over in their last eight games against right-handed starters
- 11-5-2 Over in their last 18 games against Minnesota
The Minnesota Twins are:
- 5-2 in their last seven overall
- 15-4-2 Over in their last 21 interleague home games
- 4-0 in in their last four Sunday games
Runs should not be hard to come by on Sunday. Buxton is in business for Minnesota, while Goldschmidt is still bashing the ball for Arizona and is arguably the favorite to win NL MVP. It’s hard to see Shipley or Colon slowing down either offense. Shipley is still new to the majors and Colon–at the opposite end of the career spectrum–may have hung around the game one year too long. The over is 4-1 in the Diamondbacks’ last five overall and 5-2-1 in their last eight against right-handed starters. It is also 5-2 in the Twins’ last seven overall, 15-4-2 in their last 21 interleague contests at home, and 4-0 in their last four on Sundays. Additionally, the over is 11-5-2 in the last 18 meetings between the two teams. Look for this one to go over the total.