Free Daily Lock Pick: MLB: White Sox vs Nationals- September 19th - Max Confidence CompClick to see the pick now
Minnesota (79-71 SU and 74-76 RL) is starting right-hander Kenta Maeda. The 35-year-old is 5-7 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in 19 outings this year.
Cincinnati (78-73 SU and 92-59 RL) hasn't named a probable starter for Tuesday. There's a strong likelihood right-hander Ben Lively will take the mound, as he pitched 4.1 innings in relief on September 14 vs. Detroit.
*Article published before the conclusion of Monday's game.
Minnesota: CF Michael Taylor, 2B Nick Gordon, DH Byron Buxton, and 1B Joey Gallo are all sidelined.
Cincinnati: CF Harrison Bader, LF Stuart Fairchild, and C Curt Casali are out. C Luke Maile is questionable.
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Is Minnesota good enough to go on a run this postseason?The Twins won three of four games over the White Sox in their last series. They have a comfortable seven-game lead in the AL Central over second-place Cleveland.
Minnesota scores 4.70 runs per game (12th) and hits .242 (21st) with a .747 OPS (10th). It's hit 213 homers (5th) and stolen 81 bases (23rd) this year. The Twins' pitching staff has compiled a 3.89 ERA (6th) and a 1.20 WHIP (4th) with a league-leading 72 quality starts.
Maeda will start for the visitors on Tuesday in Cincinnati. The veteran right-hander is 2-5 with a 3.31 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP in 11 road outings this season. In his last start, he picked up a win over Chicago, holding the Southsiders to two runs and four hits with eight strikeouts in seven frames.
Free Daily Lock Pick: MLB: White Sox vs Nationals- September 19th - Max Confidence Comp Click to see the pick now
Cincy is in the thick of the NL Wild Card raceCincinnati won two of three against the Mets over the weekend in New York. It's seven games out of first place in the NL Central but just a half-game out of the Wild Card race.
The Reds average 4.70 runs (11th) and hit .247 (17th) with a .737 OPS (16th). They've hit 176 dingers (15th) and stolen a league-leading 173 bases in 2023. The Cincy pitching staff sports a 4.72 ERA (24th) and a 1.41 WHIP (23rd) with 41 quality starts (23rd).
It's likely Lively will pitch in some capacity on Tuesday. The fourth-year pro is 2-2 with a 3.93 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in seven home appearances (six starts). In his return from the 15-day injured list last week, he surrendered three runs and four hits in 4.1 innings versus the Tigers.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
I'm backing Minnesota on Tuesday. Maeda had a strong showing versus Chicago in his last outing, striking out eight batters for the first time since July 24. He should have success on the road tomorrow against a Cincinnati club slashing just .233 BA/.305 OBP/.405 SLG/.710 OPS in the second half of the season (60 GP).
The Reds are going to attempt to make the playoffs with a decimated starting rotation, which should prove challenging, to say the least. Lively has pitched only three times since the start of August, surrendering 13 runs on 13 hits in one of those outings. He's a poor bet, even at home against a Twins team slashing .262/.349/.460/.809 this month.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Twins have turned it on post-All-Star weekend (.257/.343/.463/.805) after scoring just 4.1 runs per game in the first half of the season. They're scoring 6.3 runs per game in September, including 20 runs in the first two games of their previous series with the White Sox. Lively, who has given up 19 runs in his last three outings (14.0 IP), and the rest of the Reds' bullpen arms will struggle to contain the Minnesota offense on Tuesday.
Maeda pitched well in his last start, but he's hardly perfect. In August, he had a 5.04 ERA and gave up six homers in five appearances. The Reds have won five of their last seven games and will fight to keep pace with the rest of the NL Wild Card contenders.
The over, 23-18 in Cincy's interleague games, is my bet on the total!