Twins vs. Brewers MLB Odds & Picks: Back Corbin Burnes Against Minnesota (Saturday, April 3)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Corbin Burnes.
- The Milwaukee Brewers entertain the Minnesota Twins on Saturday in Game 2 of their three-game set.
- Milwaukee earned the victory in extra innings on Opening Day after coming back from a 5-2 deficit.
- D.J. James details why he thinks the Brewers triumph again below.
Twins vs. Brewers Odds
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday evening and via PointsBet.|
Neighbors meet Saturday when Milwaukee hosts Minneota for the second of a three-game set to open the 2021 Major League Baseball season.
The Twins will send José Berríos to the mound to go up against Brewers’ starter Corbin Burnes in a game that comes after the visitors’ defense and bullpen faltered in extra innings on Opening Day in Milwaukee.
Berríos is the more established name between the two pitchers, but if you watched any National League Central games with Burnes on the bump, you would recognize the talent he brings to the table.
The Twins have a strong core to their lineup, but Josh Donaldson’s hamstring injury Thursday might leave a hole in the lineup in which manager Rocco Baldelli will have to work some magic.
If Donaldson can’t go, Luis Arraez will more than likely fill his shoes, but this injury weakens the bottom of the Minnesota lineup. Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler and Miguel Sanó become ever the more critical to Minnesota’s success, as they rely on power to propel them to the top of the American League Central Division.
That said, the key to the game for the Twins is pitching. Berríos underwhelmed fans with a 4.45 xERA and 88.7 mph average allowed Exit Velocity in 2020, so they need his wipeout curveball to be on point.
Another variable which comes into the equation is how long will Berríos last? Kenta Maeda only went 41/3 innings Thursday, and going to the bullpen early did not do the Twins any favors.
Playing in an N.L. ballpark definitely falls into the hands of the Brewers, especially if prominent anchors of the Twins bullpen, like Alex Colomé and Randy Dobnak, struggle again.
The Brewers are notorious for not being afraid to go to the bullpen early, much like the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics. However, Burnes is an interesting beast because he has the ability to pitch as a starter or from the bullpen.
Unless he is struggling, the Brewers will leave him in, but if manager Craig Counsell is concerned about pitch count early in the season, Josh Hader, Devin Williams and company might be called upon against the short-handed Twins.
Burnes also had a great 2020 campaign. Even though he has a tendency to issue some free passes on the base paths, he has both a wipeout fastball and curveball. That curve only allowed a .103 xwOBA, according to Statcast, so with less power in the Twins’ lineup, this will more than likely cause issues.
For example, Burnes will throw the breaking ball low and away the majority of the time and just outside of the strike zone. Donaldson was the best on the team (.414 xwOBA) at hitting this pitch.
Arraez sat at a .323 xwOBA on this location, but notable names in the Twins’ lineup like Miguel Sanó, Nelson Cruz and Byron Buxton absolutely hate pitches located in this region.
This is something to keep an eye on if half of the Twins’ lineup struggles the first time through the batting order.
Milwaukee’s lineup has a slightly different look to it as well. Keston Hiura shifted to first base, with the addition of Kolten Wong, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. can sub into the outfield when needed to give the Brew Crew a nice needed defensive boost. On occasion and depending on a given matchup, Bradley Jr. and Avi García can platoon.
Given the Minnesota’s shaky bottom of the order, plus the matchup issues Burnes and the Milwaukee bullpen could cause, the home team is the correct side here with slight juice.
Burnes has the advantage between the starters, especially if his off-speed stuff is working. The Brewers have a better lineup ,with Donaldson either hobbled or completely sidelined, and also have the advantage with the back-end of the bullpen.
If Burnes can at least go six innings and pivotal members of the Twins’ bullpen continue to struggle, this will favor Milwaukee.
That said, back the Brewers in this spot.
Pick: Brewers ML (-131)