Twins vs. Mariners MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: Sonny Gray, Minnesota Have the Edge in Series Finale (Wednesday, June 15)
David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Sonny Gray
- The Twins are slight road favorites in today's series finale against the Mariners.
- Minnesota sends Sonny Gray to the mound, while Seattle counters with Marco Gonzales.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Twins vs. Mariners Odds
|Time||4:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Minnesota Twins were able to take the first game of the series behind a stellar pitching performance, but the Seattle Mariners bounced back with a shutout of their own. Now, both teams will look to grab some momentum and take the final game of this series.
Minnesota will hand the ball to Sonny Gray. This will be Gray’s first start in two weeks, as he had his last turn in the rotation skipped after an injury scare. But all is well, and he’ll aim to pick up right where he left off.
Marco Gonzales will be toeing the slab, and he’s been solid thus far. However, a closer look reveals his true performance, which may come to light in this matchup.
Can Gray continue his resurgent campaign, or will Gonzales continue to defy all metrics? Let’s dive in to find out.
Twins Poised to Mash Gonzales
Gonzales has been a staple for the Seattle Mariners for quite some time now. It is because he knows how to do his job, which is getting outs. He’ll enter this start with a 3.63 ERA through 12 starts, but the underlying numbers say his ERA is bound to skyrocket.
Gonzales’ strikeout rate has plummeted this year as it’s dropped by more than four percent. That means batters have made a lot more contact this season, and while his arsenal is tailored toward producing soft contact, the quality of contact has not been as soft as he would like.
Gonzales ranks in the top half of all qualified pitchers in both average exit velocity and hard-hit rate; however, he’s also in the bottom 20 percent in every expected statistic. In addition, his XWOBACON is at its highest since 2017. All of that makes his 3.63 ERA into a 5.08 xERA, and the Twins are going to help it get it to where it should be.
Minnesota is leading the AL Central; it has had a great combination of solid starting pitching and explosive offense. With Carlos Correa’s return, the Twins now have six regulars whose average exit velocities and hard-hit rates are above league average.
However, not only is a majority of their lineup consistently making solid contact, but the Twins have also excelled against lefties. Minnesota enters this game ninth in the majors in wRC+ against lefties, and it has the 12th highest batting average as well.
Given Minnesota’s hot hitting and Gonzales’ numbers screaming regression, we should see the Twins get on the board early and often here.
Look for Gray to Carve Up M’s
A change of scenery has done wonders for Gray as he’ll enter this start with a sparkling 2.41 ERA and 39 punchouts across 33 innings. His stuff has ticked up this year as his spin rates sit among the top 15 percent of the majors.
Those upticks in spin rates have not only created more swings and misses but a great deal of soft contact, which is critical for a sinker-slider guy. His average exit velocity is in the top 20 percent of the league, and generating more soft contact will be the key against this Seattle lineup.
Seattle has done a fine job of generating offense against right-handed pitching this season as it is seventh in wRC+ entering this game. However, Gray is not your typical righty, and the Mariners’ quality of contact only enhances Gray’s attack.
Only Ty France and Julio Rodriguez hold above-average exit velocities and hard-hit rates. However, the majority of their lineup has struggled to maintain any consistency this season. Regulars like Adam Frazier, Eugenio Suarez, and Abraham Toro have are all below the league average in quality of contact metrics.
The issue for the Mariners is that those three guys make up the middle of their order. So that has left the offensive production to France and a rookie in Rodriguez.
If Gray shows no lingering effects from his injury, look for a ton of ground balls and frustrated Mariners.
Seattle may have gotten even Tuesday night, but it will take a change in approach to maintain those winning ways. Gonzales is in a bad matchup as not only do the Twins handle lefties well, but they punish mistakes, which Gonzales seems to be prone to.
On the other side, Seattle’s lineup put up five runs Tuesday night, but it is bound for a dormant performance in this one. It also doesn’t help that the Mariners will be facing a guy who specializes in generating soft contact.
Back the Twins to take the series.
Pick: Twins -135
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