MLB: September 25, 2018, Target Field, Minneapolis, MN, 7:10 PM ET
The Minnesota Twins will have one more chance to establish their dominance over the Detroit Tigers before the season ends. They have won 10 of the last 16 meetings, including a sweep in a three-game series a week ago. The Tigers struck even in their previous series with the Kansas City Royals, and the twins were bested by the Oakland Athletics.
A pitching match between Tigers righty Spencer Turnbull and Twins righty Kohl Stewart will kick things off for Game 1 on Tuesday.
Tigers wrap up final home stand of the season
The Tigers won’t be heading back to Detroit until the end of the season.
They wrapped up their final home appearance by going 2-2 with the Royals. Ultimately, they weren’t able to win the closeout game of the four-game series on Sunday, as they were beaten 3-2 on a sluggish hitting day. Royals pitcher Brad Keller appeared to be their kryptonite, allowing only three hits and one earned run in seven innings on the mound. It wasn’t surprising considering the Tigers have the fifth-worst offense in MLB this season.
They have nothing to play for but pride as they head on the road to finish things out against the Twins and Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers being a possible playoff contender adds some level of intrigue if the Tigers have a shot at spoiling their postseason hopes. As for the series against the Twins, it’s all about getting even and closing the gap in the head-to-head record.
Turnbull’s last start came against the Twins in a game where he gave up six runs over the course of five innings of pitching.
Twins’ disappointing season comes into focus
A year after finishing second in the AL Central and clinching a wild card spot in the playoffs, the Twins are a 72-win team on their last home stretch of the season and an outside view of the playoff picture. The fall has been precipitous, and it stings more the closer October gets.
They still managed to finish second in the division behind the Cleveland Indians, but the American League has been loaded with so many talented teams this year, including the A’s, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners. The Rays and Mariners have a good idea of what the Twins are feeling after barely missing out on an opportunity to make the playoffs.
On Sunday, the Twins managed to avoid the sweep to the A’s by taking a 5-1 win on the road. The victory didn’t do anything to alter the A’s playoff positioning, but it did offer a little morale boost to the Twins after their struggles on the road all season long, which ultimately played the biggest role in them missing the playoffs.
They’ll finish with a 29-52 away record.
- Twins are 4-0 in last 4 games against teams with a losing record
- Twins are 18-8 in last 26 games against a starter with a WHIP higher than 1.30
- Twins are 24-11 in last 35 games played at home
- Twins are 15-4 in last 19 games at home against a team with a losing record
- Tigers are 8-23 in last 31 games played on a Tuesday
- Tigers are 15-40 in last 55 games on the road against a right-handed starter
- Tigers are 18-37 in last 55 games on the road against a team with a losing record
- Tigers are 27-56 in last 83 games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Turnbull’s last appearance on the mound was a disaster for the Tigers, which gives credence to the skepticism of him turning things around on a road trip to Minnesota. Despite their struggles, the Twins have been decent on offense. They’re a middle-of-the-road hitting team that’s capable of exploding every once in a while, depending on the competition on the mound.
Turnbull has only played in two games this year, and there aren’t expectations for him to come out and have a miraculous showing. This is more of an opportunity for the Tigers to get him some reps in the final stretch of the season.
The Twins, on the other hand, are starting Stewart, who had a strong showing the last time he was on the mound, which also happened to be in the last series against the Tigers. Over the course of six innings, he threw five strikeouts while allowing only three hits and one run. The Tigers have struggled hitting the ball all season long. There’s no reason to think they’d be much better with the season nearly over and Stewart riding a wave of confidence from the last meeting.
Prediction: Minnesota Twins (-155)
Full-Game Total Pick
There might be a bit of temptation to take the under in this game given the history between the two teams, but there is too much inexperience starting at pitcher to pass on the over in this game. The over is 7-1-1 in the last nine games the Twins have played after a day off. Even for a road team as bad as Detroit, the over has won out in four of their last five games in someone else’s building.