Twins vs. Red Sox Odds, Picks, Predictions: Both Righty Starters Have an Edge (April 15)
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images. Pictured: Nick Pivetta
Twins vs. Red Sox Odds
|Red Sox Odds||-131|
|Time||2:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Nick Pivetta and the Boston Red Sox will host highly-touted prospect Joe Ryan and the Minnesota Twins to kick off a four-game set. Neither pitcher particularly dazzled in his first appearance of the season, but Ryan was a bit more encouraging considering his ceiling.
However, the opening total is the line to exploit here. It opened at 11 and has since dropped to 10.5, but there is still plenty of value at this number. Yes, Fenway Park is a favorable hitters’ ballpark, but neither team has flipped the switch on offense just yet, and given the arsenal from Ryan, he can at least limit Boston hitters early on in this game.
Twins Need Their Bats to Step Up Against Righties
The Twins have two wins on the season. They did not look sharp in their last two games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, getting outscored 14-2 in a two-game series.
A huge part of their slow start to the year has been their inability to hit right-handed pitching. However, they also did not get a baserunner in Tuesday’s game until the eighth inning with lefty Clayton Kershaw pitching the bulk of the game for LA. They now own a .238 OBP and 73 wRC+ against righties so far.
Joe Ryan might be able to keep them in this game. He has used his fastball consistently at a 60% clip in his first game, but he alternates between a slider, curveball, and changeup as his off-speed options. On these off-speed pitches, since the beginning of the 2021 season, Alex Verdugo and Rafael Devers are the only two batters with a .325+ xwOBA. Only Devers boasts a 90 MPH+ Average Exit Velocity. This shows he could hold Boston’s bats in check.
The concerning part of Minnesota’s gameplay has not just been the hitting. The bullpen has a 4.81 xFIP in this young season so far. Yes, the Twins have a sub-4.00 ERA, but this does not tell the whole story. That said, they have some arms who can limit the Boston lineup like Joe Smith, Jhoan Duran, Tyler Duffey, and Emilio Pagán.
Red Sox’s Plethora of Righties Should Have Success
Righty Nick Pivetta, like Ryan, did not have the best 2022 debut, but he is a solid veteran. Given the struggles of this Twins’ lineup, it should not take much to put together a decent outing.
Last season, Pivetta held a 3.81 xERA and only threw his changeup 75 times. He utilizes his fastball the most often at a 51.8% clip, paired with a slider and curveball combo around 45-46%. On these two pitches, Luis Arráez, Jorge Polanco, Trevor Larnach, and Carlos Correa are the only Twins hitters with a .325+ xwOBA. The bottom half of this Twins lineup will be challenged.
The Boston lineup has also not done well against right-handers. They have a .293 OBP and an 83 wRC+ when facing them. This plays into Ryan’s favor, and if they struggle with his off-speed pitches, they will not be on base often. The Twins will know how to approach this and probably utilize the off-speed pitches from his repertoire more often than his first appearance.
The Boston bullpen has also been pretty reliable in the early going this season. They hold a 3.69 xFIP and a strong LOB percentage around 78%. They will not allow many runners to cross the plate, and outside of Jake Diekman and Austin Davis, the rest of the ‘pen consists of righties, who should continue to manufacture outs.
Twins-Red Sox Pick
There is no reason this total should be as high as it opened. Neither of these teams has hit well so far this season, and they both especially encounter issues with similar righties, like Pivetta and Ryan.
Each bullpen has enough pieces to prevent runs in later innings, and neither lineup has enough artillery to put up a lot of runs in this game. Take the under at 10.5 (-110), and play to 10 (-110).
Pick: Under 10.5 (-110) | Play to 10 (-110)